Monday Night Raw – April 5, 1999: Wrestling? In The Attitude Era?

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 5, 1999
Location: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Attendance: 12,666
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

After last week’s, shall we say, interesting choice for a post Wrestlemania show, we continue down the road into Vince Russo’s psychosis, meaning things could get very interesting in a hurry. The main story seems to be Big Show aiding Austin in the battle against Vince and the Corporation. Other than that, Undertaker is starting to act more and more Santaly. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about Vince and Stephanie being terrified about what Undertaker has become, along with a recap of last week’s show.

Opening sequence.

Tag Titles: X-Pac/Kane vs. Jeff Jarrett/Owen Hart

This is due to Kane answering an opening challenge last night and Pac coming down to help him, only to nearly get chokeslammed for his efforts. Pac and Owen get things going fast until Pac takes him down with a spinwheel kick. Off to Jarrett who takes a flipping clothesline but makes a blind tag to Owen for a spin kick of his own. A hard whip into the corner takes Pac down and a suplex gets two.

X-Pac rolls through a cross body out of the corner for two as we’re told Shane McMahon will be refereeing the Backlash main event. Jarrett grabs a sleeper but gets suplexed down to give Pac a breather. Owen comes in but misses a middle rope elbow and gets clotheslined down, allowing for the hot tag to Kane. House is cleaned and Kane slams X-Pac onto Jarrett for the pin and the titles.

Rating: D+. Yeah Russo LOVED his wacky tag team partners. Nothing much to see here but getting the titles off of Hart and Jarrett was the right idea. They’re both good but man alive were they an uninteresting team. The only thing they had was Debra and she would be able to get over with or without anyone. It wasn’t terrible but you can see the division dying.

The McMahons are in the back and Vince says he’s staying with Stephanie all night long. Shane tells the Corporation that their mission tonight is to take care of Big Show and Austin.

X-Pac celebrates and doesn’t know where Kane is. He doesn’t care though as long as Kane is there when he needs to be.

Here’s the Corporation with something to say. Rock still has the Smoking Skull belt. Shane shows us a clip from the end of last week’s show, including Big Show saving Austin from the Corporation. Tonight it’s Big Show vs. Rock/HHH in a very special handicap match. HHH talks some generic trash while Rock makes fun of Big Show and threatens to break off both his feet inside Big Show. Rock puts on the Smoking Skull belt with Shane insisting we get a closeup of the title. During the night, Shane is going to put that picture on the screen at his whim because Shane McMahon says so.

Post break Shane explains what he did to Vince because Vince and Stephanie aren’t watching the show. So why are they even here tonight other than for plot advancements? Vince recommends that Shane chill.

Here’s Ivory with something to say. She wants to know if it’s always that time of the month for PMS because they’re always cramping her style. Ivory knows that Jackie can back up her words but what about Terri? How about she comes out here right now and prove how tough she is. PMS comes out but Jackie lets Terri do this on her own. Ivory rips Terri’s shirt off to reveal the puppies, but the lights go out as the Ministry is here.

Taker says he knows McMahon is watching with his daughter by his side, so wrap your arms around her and give her Taker’s regards. Tonight, there will be a sacrifice in the form of a beautiful young woman who will be taken from her family and break her dad’s heart.

Vince is in the back with cops but demands that Patterson go find more security. He thinks he might have to give Taker what he wants which Shane doesn’t like.

Al Snow vs. Hardcore Holly

Non-title meaning it’s under regular rules. They pound each other in the back of the head to start as the lack of weapons makes this sound a bit uninteresting to put it mildly. Out to the floor Snow isn’t allowed to use a chair and Holly takes over, only to be told he can’t use the chair either. Back in and Holly hits a dropkick but stops to pose instead of covering.

A delayed vertical suplex gets two on Al but Holly misses a charge into the corner. Snow pops up to the top for a high cross body for two of his own. The Snow Plow doesn’t work and Holly takes him down with a neckbreaker. Not that it matters as the second Snow Plow is good for the pin on Hardcore.

Rating: D. Here’s a good example of what happens when you have gimmick characters: when you take away the gimmick, there’s no reason to care about either guy. Holly was just a regular guy here and Snow didn’t get to do any of the insane stuff that he used to get over. Nothing to see here at all.

Steve Williams and Jim Ross run in to beat down Snow and Holly.

Shane puts the Smoking Skull belt on the screen.

Undertaker has the Ministry hold Christian for a flogging due to him telling Shamrock where Stephanie was last week.

New Age Outlaws vs. Edge/Gangrel

Billy takes Gangrel down with an ugly dropkick to start before cranking on the arm and bringing in the Dogg. Roadie shrugs off some attempts at cheating and gets two off the shaky knee on Edge. The Brood cheats again and Gangrel gets two off a DDT. There’s a double hiptoss to Dogg and Edge gives Billy some pelvic thrusts.

We hit the chinlock from Edge and a knee to the ribs puts Dogg down again. A nice looking double suplex gets two on Dogg but he rolls away from a flying Edge out of a Rocket Launcher. The hot tag brings in Billy as everything breaks down. Christian hobbles down to the ring and gets sent into the ring for a Fameasser, giving Billy the pin.

Rating: D+. This was another mess with the ending being Russo 104. I’m not sure when Edge and Christian will finally dump Gangrel and team up to become legends but it needs to happen soon. Gangrel is just there and it’s pretty annoying to see him take up a spot from a more talented guy. The Outlaws are still way over though so a rub won’t hurt the Brood at all.

Austin threatens to cost the McMahons a lot of money if they keep showing the Smoking Skull belt on the Titantron.

Recap of the Stephanie kidnapping from last week.

Ken Shamrock vs. Viscera

Ken goes right at Viscera and is promptly thrown to the ground. A cross body goes about as well with Viscera falling on top for two. Shamrock comes back with kicks and an impressive belly to belly suplex but there go the lights and here comes the Ministry for the no contest.

Shamrock is captured and beaten down with right hands and a Bradshaw powerbomb. Undertaker and Paul Bearer are watching from the aisle like true evil masterminds should. Shamrock is dragged away through the crowd.

Shane won’t let the Corporation go after Shamrock because it could be a trap.

Shamrock is thrown into a trunk and driven away.

Val Venis vs. Mankind

Amazingly enough these two would fight on PPV. Mankind does a creepy imitation of Val’s hello ladies by saying hello Long Island while bragging about being on the cover of Newsday. The fans are entirely behind the hometown man(kind) as he runs over Venis with a forearm to the head. Venis bails to the floor but has to run away before Foley can drop the elbow. Venis comes back with right hands in the corner but Foley comes back with a spinebuster.

Jerry and Cole are talking about some conspiracy about ESPN and ABC lying about the WWF in some story for the sake of pushing Monday Night Football. Mankind misses a charge and lands on the floor for a baseball slide from Val. The Money Shot is broken up and there’s the Claw, only to have Venis fall off the top and out to the floor. Back in and the double arm DDT sets up Socko for the win.

Rating: C-. This is the ultra rare clean finish in the Attitude Era with Foley getting the relatively easy win over someone that had no business beating him. Oddly enough, that’s something you don’t seen enough in today’s rigidly structured WWE. The match was nothing special but the fans were going nuts for Foley to make it better.

The lights flicker in Vince’s office.

The Ministry has a huddle in the middle of the hallway.

Intercontinental Title: Godfather vs. Goldust

Goldie is defending. Godfather offers him the girls but Goldust is too freaky so Godfather opts to just beat him up instead. The champion comes back with a shoulder block before bailing to be near the girls. Back in and Godfather gets two off some elbow drops before hitting the Ho Train, only to be tripped up by the Blue Meanie. Goldust and Godfather brawl to a lame double countout to the collective disinterest of the audience.

Vince’s lights flicker again before going out. A lot of shouting is heard and Stephanie screams.

Here’s the Ministry dragging someone under a blanket and tying them to Undertaker’s symbol. We cut to the back to see Stephanie with Vince and the sacrifice is……..Ryan Shamrock. Undertaker promises to make Stephanie one of them due to the wishes of the higher power. Vince shouts into the camera for Undertaker to stay away from Stephanie.

HHH/The Rock vs. Big Show

HHH comes out to the DX music because that’s the kind of jerk he is. Rock again gets annoyed when the fans keep singing long with his catchphrases, including when he telling them this is NOT sing-a-long with the Rock. There are tags required here so it’s HHH being headbutted into the next county to start.

A big backdrop puts HHH down so it’s off to Rock who gets a headbutt of his own. Back to the Game who walks into a backbreaker but gets up a boot to the face in the corner. HHH tries to pound away but gets slammed down with ease. Rock comes back in with right hands but gets caught by the throat, drawing in Chyna for the DQ.

Rating: D+. This was just there for the Big Show to treat Rock and HHH like a moderate size Japanese city. As usual, the match here was little more than a backdrop to set up the post match stuff but to be fair, you can’t put Show over here so let Big Show look good before getting beaten down.

Post match Show is beaten down and hit with the People’s Elbow, drawing out Austin (thankfully in BLUE jeans this week). Rock still escapes with the Smoking Skull belt. Shane puts the shot of the belt up on the screen again and that’s it for Austin. He and Big Show charge up the ramp but stop before going through the curtain.

Austin instructs Big Show to pull the Titantron down……AND HE DOES IT! Austin sneaks under the tron and slices through the screen. This blew my mind as a kid, even though it’s clearly slight of hand now. Austin destroys the screen with a pole to end the show. Cole calls the screen the crown jewel of the company. Just go with it people.

Overall Rating: C. This was better as the insanity was still there but in smaller doses. There was some actual focus on the in ring action and some build to the PPV as well. For this era, that’s about as good as you’re going to get. Austin getting involved with the rest of the Corporation feud instead of just Rock and Vince is a nice change. We can also head up to the Higher Power stuff too which should be interesting when you know what’s coming.

 

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