Monday Night Raw – March 22, 1999: The #1 Moment In Raw History

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 22, 1999
Location: Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, New York
Attendance: 12,264
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

It’s finally the go home show for Wrestlemania and things should be pretty much set in stone. However, since this is Russo World, it’s time for some last minute changes to the midcard because he can’t sit still for five minutes. There is however one major thing on this show that will be remembered for years to come. Let’s get to it.

Austin arrives and talks to the driver of a beer truck. That brings a smile to my face.

Here’s the Corporation to open the show. Vince talks about how great of a night Wrestlemania will be for them before handing the mic off to the European Champion Shane McMahon. Shane brags about how he can beat X-Pac like a drum but wants to do it tonight instead of Sunday. Vince says that his family is very secure and says Big Boss Man and others will be waiting on Undertaker when he arrives tonight. He believes Austin and Undertaker are working together but it’s not going to work.

Rock says we’re six days away from heading to Philadelphia for the end of Austin’s career. Austin is shown watching in the back but Rock isn’t surprised because Austin is drawn to Rock’s star power. Rock guarantees that Austin can’t beat him but Austin is going for a walk in the back. Vince makes Austin vs. Big Show for tonight with Rock as guest referee to make sure things are all fair.

This brings out Mankind who calls himself the best referee there is, was and ever will be, meaning it should be Rock vs. Mankind for the right to referee the main event. We’re now having matches to determine the referee for the main event on the same show. That’s one thing on Wrestlemania (and that’s a BIG stretch) but now we’re doing it on Raw? Mankind talks about how Shawn Michaels is cool with this and leaves, but Vince says cut the music. He talks about a street fight but gets cut off by Austin…..in a beer truck.

It’s the famous moment with Austin driving a Coors Light truck into the arena and saying he’ll win the title at Mania before spraying Rock and the McMahons down with beer. This was voted the #1 moment for the first ten years of Raw which is pretty ridiculous when you think about it. It’s not even Austin’s biggest moment on Raw, with stuff like the first Stunner to Vince or costing Rock the title two months before this would pretty easily trump this. It’s a cool moment, but it’s not THAT good. Vince swimming in beer still works really well though.

Apparently JR is at a frat party. This JR IS EVIL stuff is really stupid.

Tag Titles: Owen Hart/Jeff Jarrett vs. The Brood

It’s Edge/Gangrel challenging. Gangrel pounds on Owen to start but gets caught in a spinwheel kick. Off to Edge who gets about a foot away from Owen as Hart dives over. They call it a powerslam but I think that move needs actual contact to count. Jarrett comes in and gets caught in the Edge-O-Matic for no cover. Christian comes in from the floor as I guess we’re under Freebird Rules. Again it’s Russo World so why not. Edge gets two off a high cross body as the teams have changed corners. Everything breaks down and Owen hooks the Sharpshooter on Edge but Public Enemy comes in for the no contest.

Everyone brawls but the lights go out. They come back on to reveal Debra covered in blood. Somehow after that match, we needed a battle royal with the last two guys in the ring getting the title shot at Wrestlemania.

The Outlaws say they’ll beat each other tonight.

The Corporation gives Shane a pep talk and the Stooges are sent to get coffee.

Hardcore Title/Intercontinental Title: Billy Gunn vs. Road Dogg

Title vs. Title with Roadie defending the IC Title and Gunn defending the Hardcore Title because Vince Russo likes to mess with us. This isn’t a hardcore match despite the title being on the line. Feeling out process with both guys scoring with basic stuff until Roadie armdrags Gunn into the corner. Gunn sends him into a corner as well, only to be punched down for the shaky knee. Billy armdrags Roadie down a few times and hits the Fameasser but here are Snow, Goldust and Venis for the DQ.

Rating: D-. As is the case with almost any wrestling in this era outside of the main event, this was worthless. There are two problems here. First of all is the aforementioned double switch. It messed up months of stories and gave us Billy Gunn as a hardcore guy which didn’t fit at all but it was surprising so it’s good right? Second, no one wanted to see the Outlaws fight so no one was interested in the match. Nothing to see here.

Something scares the Stooges.

Back from a break and the Stooges have been attacked by……the Legion of Doom? Oh because of the imitation last week. Yeah whatever.

Here’s Blue Meanie with a chair to call out Ken Shamrock for some reason. He says that the company isn’t big enough for the both of them so tonight the Meanie is taking a stand. Shamrock’s music hits but it’s Ryan instead of Ken. Meanie tries to spank her but here are Ken and Goldust, who wind up brawling as Meanie and Ryan bail. Meanie saves Goldust from the ankle lock with a chair shot. I guess that’s your Intercontinental Title build.

Back to the JR frat party as JR wants girls.

The Ministry of Darkness arrives.

Sable vs. Ivory

Non-title. Ivory’s friend D’Lo Brown jumps in on commentary. Sable wants to stretch before we get going and we hear about Hardcore Holly vs. Al Snow vs. Billy Gunn at Mania. Cue PMS as Sable hits a horrible kick to Ivory’s ribs. Terri and Jackie yell at D’Lo and Ivory gets a pair of near falls. Jackie trips Ivory and Sable wins with the powerbomb. This was nothing, again.

Tori comes in and beats Sable down.

Mankind vs. The Rock

The winner gets to referee the main event tonight. They brawl to the floor to start with Rock being sent into the steps, only to come back and post Mankind. The referee takes a chair away from Rock but he suplexes Mankind on the floor as they head inside. Mankind comes back with a slam of his own to set up his own People’s Elbow but only hits mat. A low blow stops Rock’s comeback but Mankind is a good guy so it’s ok. Rock hits him low right back and it’s out to the floor again.

We get the always funny mid-match commentary from Rock but the distraction lets Mankind score with a clothesline. Back in and Rock stomps away in the corner but Mankind fires off right hands of his own. The referee gets bumped so there’s no one to count after Rock hits a DDT. Back up and Mankind hits the double arm DDT but still no referee. Instead it’s Socko time, which draws out Big Show to chokeslam Mankind, drawing the DQ from the awakening referee.

Rating: C. This didn’t have time to develop but Rock vs. Foley is always worth checking out. There’s natural chemistry there and you just can’t teach something like that. Mankind was on the down side of his career at this point but he was still more than a big enough deal to give the fans hope.

Rock yells at Big Show.

Kane vs. Goldust

Goldust vs. Shamrock vs. Venis vs. Road Dogg is announced for the PPV. No match though as Goldust throws a fireball at Kane, revealing himself to be HHH in disguise. This is retaliation for Kane burning Chyna a few weeks ago.

Austin tells Mankind to stay out of his way in the main event.

X-Pac vs. Shane McMahon

This is non-title and in the parking lot. Pac kicks him down and pounds away, drawing the Mean Street Posse in to beat Pac down. The rich guys speed off in sports cars.

Ken Shamrock/Big Bossman/Test vs. Undertaker/Acolytes

Brawl to start (duh) with Boss Man staring Taker down. He blasts Undertaker in the head with the nightstick but Taker sits up. Everything heads outside and then into the crowd as another “match” ends in less than two minutes.

The lights go out as we go to a break.

The lights lead nowhere as a disheveled Vince has something to say after the break. He shows us the beer bath again before guaranteeing that Austin won’t enjoy what’s coming. There’s no chance that Austin wins the title back on Sunday because tonight’s guest commentator will beat him at Wrestlemania.

Big Show vs. Steve Austin

This was supposed to be the main event of Wrestlemania 2000 if you can believe that. Mankind is guest referee. Austin flips Show off to start but gets thrown into the corner. Show won’t be whipped across the ring and chops Austin down. Austin slips away and takes Show’s leg down before trying to wrap it around the post. Big Show kicks Austin over the barricade from his back but Mankind breaks up some choking.

A buckle pad was ripped away in the process and Austin is rammed face first into the steel for two. Austin tries a Stunner but Big Show casually picks him up and launches Austin away. Austin staggers to the floor and Big Show press slams him on the concrete. Rock: “It wasn’t on his head but the Rock will take that.”

Show picks him up again but Austin posts him for no effect. Instead Austin gets launched into the post to put him down again. Mankind grabs a chair to force it back into the ring as Austin is in big trouble. There’s a bearhug on Austin but he finally bites his way out. The Thesz Press takes Show down and Austin grabs the chair. Two shots to the leg and three to the head (Mankind is cool with it) set up the Stunner for the pin.

Rating: C. Just a brawl here to give the fans something to get excited about for Sunday. There’s nothing wrong with combining the two feuds into one match and I’m glad that it wasn’t the standard tag match for a change. Big Show really came off like a monster here and Austin needing to heat to beat him was a nice touch.

Post match two brawls break out with Rock hitting the Rock Bottom on Austin to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. Well it definitely hyped up Wrestlemania, but the booking isn’t much in the way of quality. Wrestling was cast off during 1999 in favor of fast segments disguised as wrestling matches to build interest into an eventual match. The problem was when those matches sucked, what were the fans supposed to care about? Good buildup show, not a great show in general.

Here’s Wrestlemania if you’re interested:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2013/03/24/wrestlemania-count-up-wrestlemania-xv-russo-at-his-best/

 

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http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E8HXYM2

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