Monday Night Raw – April 12, 1999: Ken Shamrock Becomes A Star

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 12, 1999
Location; Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Attendance: 14,701
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross

Things are again picking up around here as the Ministry is growing out of control and threatening both Vince and his daughter. Last week Ryan Shamrock was sacrificed to Undertaker’s Higher Power with the promise of Stephanie being next. Austin is being pulled into the story as well, making things all the more interesting. Let’s get to it.

Stephanie and Vince are in the back. Why does she keep coming to these shows? Vince tells her that it’s ok and to just relax and enjoy the show.

Opening sequence.

JR is back on commentary with no explanation of him getting his job back.

Here’s the Corporation led by Shane to open things up. JR says Shane has a major announcement for us tonight. Shane brags about how awesome the Corporation is before introducing the newest members: Rodney and Pete Gas. Shamrock grabs the mic and demands an explanation for where the Corporation was last week when Ken was abducted and Ryan was kidnapped. Shane says this is all about the Undertaker and asks Stephanie to come down here. Vince says ok but he and the security are coming too.

The other McMahons and the Stooges hit the ring with Vince wanting to know what Shane’s game is. Shane tells Vince that he’s focused his entire world around his little girl while throwing Shane and the Corporation to the side. Vince has put Jim Ross on commentary when JR can barely speak. Shane would fire JR right now but Michael Cole sucks just as much. Shane says the Corporation is about youth so it’s time for someone to be fired thirty years too late.

Patterson and Brisco are both fired so Vince accuses Shane of being on a power trip. Vince says he and Stephanie are going home but Shane isn’t done yet. Papa McMahon says if you want power you have to earn it, so Shane slaps his dad in the face. Shane says Vince is no longer his father and will just be referred to as Vince. Shamrock isn’t pleased and leaves with Vince.

Post break Vince thanks Shamrock before escorting Stephanie out.

Rock goes out for some fresh air as Shane has a meeting with the Corporation.

Women’s Title: Sable vs. Tori vs. Jacqueline vs. Ivory

Sable is defending and flanked by Nicole Bass. Jackie gets in Sable’s face before the bell so Bass chokeslams her down with ease. Tori gets slammed and Ivory gets chokeslammed off the middle rope. With no one left in the ring, Sable stops to dance. The bell still hasn’t rung yet….and that’s it. Ok then.

With Bass still in the ring, there go the lights and here comes the Ministry. Actually it’s just their music with Undertaker on the screen saying another innocent victim will be sacrificed tonight.

Here’s Austin, having just arrived thirty minutes into the show. He’s also got the regular WWF Title belt with him after giving it back to Vince two weeks ago. He’s glad Rock went out to get some fresh air because what happened at Wrestlemania is nothing compared to what Rock has to go through at Backlash. As for special guest referee Shane, he better enjoy disrespecting Vince while he can because Austin will rip him apart. Back to Rock, he better come out here and give up the title to Austin before Austin drags him out here to take it from him.

Rock pops up on screen with the Smoking Skull belt while standing on a bridge. About a year and a half ago, Austin threw Rock’s Intercontinental Title off a bridge as well, but that’s not what Rock is going to do tonight. If Austin is some kind of a big game hunter, come hunt the Brahma Bull and get your belt back.

Mankind is looking for the boiler room and talks about playing hockey with Al Snow.

Big Show vs. Christian

I don’t see this lasting long. Big Show has his signature music, I believe for the first time ever. Before the match, Undertaker pops up on screen and tells Gangrel and Edge to leave. Tonight Christian has to prove his worth on his own. Christian tries right hands and is easily thrown into the corner for a loud chop. The chokeslam ends this in a little over a minute.

Mankind says he’s ready for a Boiler Room Brawl with Big Show in thirteen days.

Shane sends the Mean Street Posse to the boiler room to take out Mankind.

Rock is still waiting on the bridge.

Rodney and Pete Gas head for the boiler room.

Billy Gunn vs. Val Venis

Feeling out process to start until Val takes him into the corner for some kicks to the ribs. Things speed up for a few moments until Venis catches him in a spinebuster for two. Off to the wristlock and there’s the grind from Val. Billy comes right back with a DDT and some grinding of his own before the cover. A Stinger Splash crushes Val but he comes back with a hot shot to drop Billy face first onto the buckle. Billy gets low bridged to the floor and here are Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart to beat him down for the DQ.

Rating: C. Much better than I was expecting here but the ending didn’t help anything. Both guys were moving very fast out there and it made for an entertaining match. When Billy was staying in the midcard and not being pushed as a big deal I could always tolerate him much more easily. Venis was his usual smooth self.

Venis goes after Owen and Jeff for costing him a match and Road Dogg comes out to help as well. Debra has eyes for Val but Jeff pulls her away. This would be the start of a VERY bizarre story.

We go to Doc Hendrix for the WWF Update. This is just a quick rundown of the major matches with a short promo from Mankind about protecting Big Show by hiding in the boiler room until Backlash. This takes like three minutes and tells you everything you need to know about the show. Simple, efficient and completely lacking the WWE App nonsense.

Mankind easily dispatches the Posse, saying he doesn’t like their haircuts.

Jeff Jarrett/Owen Hart vs. Acolytes

Owen bails to the floor, leaving Jarrett to get destroyed by both big men. Faarooq pounds on Jarrett to start before bringing in Bradshaw to keep up the punishment. Off to Owen with a spinwheel kick but here’s the Ministry after a little over a minute for the DQ.

Cue Undertaker to grab Debra by the throat. Since he can’t have Stephanie tonight, Debra is going to be the sacrifice. Ken Shamrock hits the ring with a baseball bat, chasing off everyone but the Undertaker. The Dead Man says if Shamrock hits him, he’ll never see Ryan Shamrock again. Taker says Ryan is in the boiler room so Shamrock destroys the Ministry with the bat before shouting RYAN and running off.

Intercontinental Title: Goldust vs. Big Boss Man

Goldust is defending but here are Godfather and the girls before the bell. Godfather says his match with Goldust last week didn’t solve anything so he wants a rematch. Therefore, he’s willing to offer Boss Man any of his women in exchange for the shot at Goldust. Boss Man ups the ante by saying he wants all five. Godfather says deal and we have a new challenger.

Intercontinental Title: Goldust vs. Godfather

Goldust scores with a quick clothesline and some right hands, only to be taken down with a clothesline from Godfather. Something resembling a suplex gets two for the champion so he sends Godfather into the steps. Back in and Goldust pounds away rather slowly before hooking the chinlock. Godfather fights up and hits the Ho Train but misses a charge and gets backdropped to the floor. Goldie takes off a buckle pad but gets sent into it chest first, setting up the Death Valley Driver to give Godfather the title.

Rating: D. This is around the time when the IC Title started to die. There’s no reason for Godfather or Goldust or Road Dogg or anyone like that to have the belt and there’s no way to get invested into such short reigns. It’s a big reason why the title means nothing today: there’s no reason to care about any of the champions so we don’t care when the titles change hands.

Mankind has Ryan Shamrock and hands her safely off to Ken.

We get the I Cheer For Them promo, with a bunch of legends talking about how things were back then but how they’re now fans of the modern product. It’s really cool looking and makes the guys of today look awesome while also respecting the past. Nice touch.

The Ministry jumps Mankind and Shamrock. Ken is knocked out with some ether as Ryan screams. The Ministry takes Ken away as Undertaker blames Ryan for what happens.

Al Snow is at ringside for the next match and has put King’s crown on Head.

Hardcore Title: Hardcore Holly vs. D’Lo Brown

Snow gets the winner at Backlash. They quickly head to the floor where Holly finds a hockey stick, only to have it taken away by some of the Detroit Redwings. Back in and Brown breaks the stick over Holly’s back before dropping a leg to drive Hardcore’s head into a chair. They trade shots with the broken stick with Brown getting the better of it.

Snow hands Holly a glass of water which goes upside D’Lo’s head for two. Holly brings in a table but again Brown takes control and lays him out on it, only to be pulled off the top by Snow. Brown comes back in with a chair to lay out Snow but Al pulls Holly off the table, sending Brown crashing through it, giving Hardcore the pin.

Rating: D. Messy stuff here but it continues the story. Here’s the lesson to learn from this match: anything, even as stupid as the Hardcore Title, can be made interesting if you give it a story. Snow only wants to beat Holly for the title so he’s protecting him until Backlash. It’s not a great story and it’s not an important title, but it makes things better than “here’s the champion, here’s the challenger, here’s the match” and it didn’t take much effort at all.

Undertaker says he’s not out of touch with reality but rather just being himself. Ken Shamrock is tied to what looks like Undertaker’s symbol and is promised unimaginable pain.

Rock is very impatient but has a fishing pole to see what he can catch.

Ken Shamrock is on the symbol for the sacrifice. Actually scratch that as Undertaker drags Christian out, saying he’ll be the sacrifice. Shamrock has gotten loose somehow as Edge and Gangrel fight back against the Ministry. Cue Mankind to help fight the Ministry and we’ve got a huge brawl. Taker descends on the Brood’s platform.

Tag Titles: X-Pac/Kane vs. HHH/Test

HHH jumps Kane to start but gets kicked in the face for his efforts. Off to Test who gets caught by some fast uppercuts and a slam. A dropkick sends Kane into the corner but he easily lifts Test into the air and into the corner for some right hands and a stomping. Kane gets so tunnel visioned that he won’t tag in X-Pac so the small guy brings himself in. Pac takes over with his kicks and a right hand knocks the illegal HHH to the floor, allowing Test to kick Pac down.

HHH comes in again to stomp on X-Pac in the corner as Chyna gets in a cheap shot of her own. Test gets two off a gutwrench powerbomb but it’s quickly back to HHH for the facebuster. We hit the chinlock for a good while until Pac fights up and hits a spinwheel kick. The double tag brings in Kane and Test with the Big Red Machine cleaning house. Test is sent to the floor after a Bronco Buster, only to have HHH throw him back in for a tombstone to retain the titles as the Game walks out.

Rating: D+. This was a basic tag match but again it was all about the story instead of the match. I like X-Pac and Kane having very little chemistry as they’ve only had a match or two together now. That makes perfect sense and adds a bit of realism to the match. HHH throwing Test back inside will come into play later.

Rock is still waiting.

Here’s Ken Shamrock with something else to say. He’s been trying to get a piece of Undertaker all night long but Mark keeps slipping out the backdoor. He knows Undertaker can hear him so get out here right now so Shamrock can bring him down to reality. There go the lights and Undertaker pops up behind Shamrock for the big beating. Ken rolls out though and pounds away on Undertaker, drawing in the Ministry for the group beatdown. HHH and Boss Man finally come out to pull Shamrock away….only to destroy him themselves as Shane looks on.

Austin arrives at the bridge and the fight is on, only to have Austin pretty easily knocked over the edge and into the water. Rock throws the belt in as well to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. This is another hard one to grade. For one thing, there wasn’t much wrestling and the focus was almost entirely on the Ministry tonight, though they’re by far the biggest thing in the company at the moment. If nothing else, Shamrock is looking like a star in all of this as he’s fighting for his family and what’s right while never backing down. These shows are hard to sit through this fast though and the formula wears thin in a hurry. It’s never boring, but that doesn’t make it good.

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