Monday Night Raw – March 15, 1999: This Isn’t A Wrestling Show Anymore

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 15, 1999
Location: San Jose Arena, San Jose, California
Attendance: 13,146
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

We’ve only got two weeks left before Wrestlemania and the card is pretty much ready to go. Well in the world of logical booking and common sense it is. The Wrestlemania 15 card will change a lot tonight for reasons that I’m sure will make me roll my eyes and want to punch someone in the face over. Also hopefully Paul Wight is dubbed Big Show soon because it’s hard not to call him that. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Rock and Big Show’s (finally called that) issues. Rock slapped Big Show last night on Heat before Big Show lifted the ring off the floor. Why Rock didn’t just hop out is beyond me.

Here’s Rock to open the show. I love how he holds the belt in his arm like a football. He talks about how Austin has 13 days before the beating of his life, but the fans stop him to say that Rocky sucks. Austin should go lay down on the train tracks because the Smackdown Express is about to run him over. As for Big Show, Rock knew he couldn’t trust him but it’s clear that Austin and Big Show are in cahoots. He wants Vince out here right now or he’ll kick his roody poo candy…..but Rock has to stop to remind the fans that THIS IS NOT SING A LONG WITH THE ROCK!

Anyway cue Vince who looks very annoyed at this inconvenience. He thinks that Rock is cooking a big load of monkey crap because all this Rock stuff is going to the champ’s head. Maybe Dwayne needs a reality check. Vince asks Rock about the stuff the McMahon family has done for Rock’s family and says that the championship belongs to Vince, not the Rock. However, Rock isn’t going to lose that title to Austin. Vince’s family has been looking out for Rock’s family for three generations so he’s going to protect Rock now. He’s brought in Big Show to help Rock and the Corporation and Show has done a lot for Rock already.

This brings out Big Show himself and he’s not pleased with what Vince is implying about him. Maybe Big Show should cash in one of his big checks on the Rock and then use the change on Vince. McMahon says he pays Big Show and that means Big Show does what he says. Show chokes Vince into the corner but Vince says this is what Austin and the people want. Instead, they’re going to get Rock and Big Show vs. Mankind and Austin. Rock and Big Show shake hands,

Some construction guys come out and start building a table in front of the regular announce table. They don’t know why they’re doing it but apparently that’s their assignment.

Intercontinental Title: Road Dogg vs. Val Venis

This is because Venis, the champion, pinned Road Dogg in a tag match on Heat. Trust me: that’s far from the most backwards thing tonight. Road Dogg says he’ll win and become the Intercontinental Champion of the world. Dogg misses a charges into the corner to start and Val pounds away. A spinebuster gets two for the champion as do some elbows. Apparently Venis has guaranteed a win in three minutes.

There’s a powerslam to the Dogg but the Money Shot misses. Dogg starts pounding away and hits the shaky knee drop and a pumphandle slam for two. The construction guys are still working and have a power saw going. A snap suplex gets two for Val but Roadie catches him in a DDT for the pin and the title.

Rating: D+. The match was nothing of note and I really have no idea why the title change happened. Val wasn’t the best champion ever but he had a feud going on for the title with three other guys, but now Road Dogg is champion. Nothing to see here as the main focus was on the carpenters at ringside.

Rock tells Big Show he can win the tag match by himself.

DX celebrates Road Dogg’s new title in the back. Billy apparently wants a shot.

Here’s Shane to say that beating X-Pac at Wrestlemania will be as easy as 1-2-3. Kid. Eh point for a funny line. Anyway, right now he’s going to challenge the Legion of Doom to a handicap match……and it’s Patterson and Brisco in LOD attire.

Shane McMahon vs. Legion of Doom

Vince is on commentary. This is exactly what you would expect as Shane destroys the “LOD”. Brisco is Hawk in case you were wondering. Both guys get Bronco Busters as X-Pac is watching in the back. Shane hits them both with the European Title and gets a double pin. This was a long joke, not a match.

As the McMahons leave, Undertaker’s voice comes over the speakers and we get a shot of apparently Vince’s house. Taker says a woman is coming home soon. The Ministry is at Vince’s house and apparently they’re trying to get in.

Vince calls his security company but they’re not at the house yet.

Cue JR and Steve Williams. Apparently JR is going to do his own commentary and the carpenters were building him his own announce table. Yes, this is what we’ve spent 20 minutes setting up. The table says JR is Raw.

Tag Titles: Jeff Jarrett/Owen Hart vs. Public Enemy

Earlier today the challengers said they don’t want anything handed to them. It’s a big brawl to start and Rocco almost immediately tries to put Jarrett through a table. We hear about people being annoyed at where Public Enemy used to work (both ECW and WCW) as Owen hammers away on Rocco. The champions (Jarrett and Hart of course) split Rocco’s legs before it’s back to Hart to pound away in the corner. Rocco avoids a charge into the corner and it’s hot tag to Johnny. He cleans house and there’s a guitar shot, leading to the pin for Jarrett. This was like 90 seconds.

JR thanks the fans for their support as Jerry and Cole talk about the match.

The cops won’t go to Vince’s house because they think it’s a publicity stunt.

Post break Vince is upset because no one will answer. Shane offers to call his friends to go help but there’s a phone call from Undertaker. Apparently Undertaker asks if Vince knows where his family is.

A steel cage is lowered.

Wrestlemania is coming.

Vince has a meeting with the Corporation.

Mankind is sitting inside a shark’s mouth (literally) and says he’s going to give Mr. Socko a bath with Paul Wight’s saliva.

Mideon vs. Big Bossman

This is inside a cage and Mideon is here all alone tonight. Apparently this is a Hard Time cage match, whatever that means. You win by escape only and Boss Man dominates Mideon to start. A splash in the corner puts Mideon down and Boss Man throws him face first into the cage. Boss Man pulls out a chain and blasts Mideon in the face for good measure. Here’s the rest of the Corporation as the cage door is open. The beatdown is on and the match is again thrown out after about two minutes.

Vince talks to Undertaker, saying that if Undertaker doesn’t leave Vince’s home, Mideon will be destroyed. We cut to a shot of Vince’s house where Taker says his men exist to die for him. Taker says he’s going to do what he has to do and a car pulls up. The feed cuts out and we go to a commercial.

Post break Vince and company are panicking while trying to get someone on the phone.

Now, let’s go to the Playboy Mansion with Lawler getting a tour. If you can’t figure out what’s going on here, you’re in the wrong review. The acting on this is worse than almost anything else I can remember in WWE. The King is thrown out of course.

Here’s Sable to show us the entire Playboy spread. I’m sure. She’s basically in S&M gear here and shows us the pictures. They’re censored of course, making this rather pointless. If the fans want to see the uncensored ones, they have to pay. Anyway, this brings out Tori who now has entrance music. She insists she’s as good as Sable and won’t stand in the shadow any longer. Tori offers to show everything she has. Her voice sounds like it’s coming from a machine. A challenge is made and accepted for Wrestlemania. Tori strips to some very large underwear.

Cops arrive at Vince’s house and look around to see if there’s anything to Vince’s claims.

We go from that to a video on how tough things are on the mean streets of Greenwich, Connecticut, featuring the Mean Street Posse.

Hardcore Title: Billy Gunn vs. Hardcore Holly

Gunn is challenging of course. It’s a brawl to start and odds are that’s what we’re going to see for awhile here. Gunn is sent to the floor and Holly pulls out a garbage can for a hard shot to the head. Billy comes back with a whip into the steps for two but a piledriver on the floor is blocked, as it always is. They head inside with Billy breaking a broomstick over Holly’s back. A shot to the throat gets two on Holly and it’s chair time.

Holly comes back with a facejam onto the chair and a clothesline to put Gunn on the outside. Gunn tries a comeback but walks into a drink to the head as we go back inside. A chair to Billy’s head gets two but Holly is thrown onto JR’s table, apparently knocking the signal out. Cole and Jerry can still talk though and they get to call Billy hitting a Fameasser onto the chair for the pin and the title.

Rating: D+. So yeah, Russo’s BRILLIANT conclusion to two simultaneous midcard title feuds is to swap the champions out for each other. Gunn would defend the Hardcore Title in a three way at Mania and Road Dogg would be in the fourway. The problem is none of those challengers have any issues with either respective champion, so the matches wound up being worthless. But hey, it’s a SWERVE you see? Who needs logical storytelling when you can have SWERVES?

Vince is told the cops left but gets a call from Undertaker, saying that he’s going to be the father that Vince never could be, or maybe he could just torture her. Who this “her” is hasn’t been revealed yet. Taker’s symbol is burning on Vince’s lawn.

Here’s HHH with something to say. Apparently Chyna has a partially burned retina. HHH is mad that it was his eye that Kane was shooting for, so get out here right now for a burning. Cue Kane and the brawl is on in the aisle. As they fight at ringside, here comes Vince with his head hanging down. Vince wants Kane to try to talk to Undertaker (Vince’s voice is mic’d here but his hands are empty) but HHH won’t let Kane leave. Kane shakes his head no…..and unmasks to reveal Undertaker. The lights go out and Taker says he can get Vince anytime anywhere. Kane’s pyro goes off and his music plays to end this stupid segment.

Seriously, what in the world is going on here? Presumably Undertaker wasn’t ever in Connecticut (remember this show is in California), but we saw him on camera there, as we saw the cop. Even if it does make sense, it’s WAY more complicated than it needs to be, much like this entire angle.

Wrestlemania ad.

The Stooges try to console Vince.

Mankind/Steve Austin vs. Big Show/The Rock

Rock says that he’s going to win at Wrestlemania before we get going here. Mankind gets beaten down before Austin gets here, only to have the Rattlesnake come in and make the save. Austin and Rock get things going with Austin hitting the Thesz Press before he even takes the vest off. Off to Mankind who is punched in the face by the world champion. Mankind comes back with some right hands to the head and the running knee to a seated Rock in the corner.

Back to Austin as Rock is in big trouble. There’s a sleeper by Austin but Rock rams him into the corner for the break. Rock charges into a boot in the corner but rolls to the floor to avoid a Stunner. The champ tries to leave but you know Austin isn’t letting something like that happen. Back in and a bad looking spinebuster gets two on Rock before it’s back to Mankind for his own version of the People’s Elbow. Mankind hits the ropes once too often though, allowing Big Show to kick him in the back of the head. That and a DDT are enough for a two count for Rock.

Off to Big Show for the first time as the fans chant for Austin. Thankfully we don’t have JR on commentary anymore, but it means that Cole and Lawler can talk about how huge a deal that was for Vince. Big Show chokes away with those long legs in the corner as he makes the 6’4 Mankind look tiny. A Russian legsweep puts Mankind down and it’s back to the champion. Austin breaks up a near fall off the People’s Elbow but it’s back to Big Show for more punishment on Mankind.

Show chokes with the ropes as Rock draws Austin in again, allowing for a low blow. Rock brags a bit too much though and gets caught in a double arm DDT to put both guys down. There’s the hot tag to Austin and Rock freaks. Austin stomps a mudhole in Rock’s chest but has to fight out of a Rock Bottom attempt. Instead it’s a neckbreaker getting two for Austin but everything breaks down. Everyone goes to the floor and the match is thrown out.

Rating: C. Rock vs. Austin is always worth seeing and I can’t complain a bit about putting both big matches from Wrestlemania into a tag match like this. It was a regular main event tag match other than that though so it’s hard to complain here. The match wasn’t anything of note and the ending sucked, but the rest of it wasn’t bad. That’s as back and forth as I can get so we’ll say the rating is right in the middle.

Austin and Rock go through the announce table, which means Big Show isn’t doing his job.

Overall Rating: D. This is Russo when he’s getting WAY too much freedom. I felt like I was watching a low budget horror movie here with some screwball comedy thrown in. The midcard title swap makes NO sense and is as stupid of an idea as they could have had. It makes the matches worthless and throws out weeks of buildup. Then there’s the Undertaker stuff which feels like it’s out of a low budget Halloween ripoff. There was almost nothing good here and it’s hard to imagine we’re two weeks from Wrestlemania.


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  1. chris says:

    I often think today’s raw’s aren’t wrestling anymore. Good job on the review though:)

  2. M.R. says:

    People forget how stupid the attitude era could be.