Monday Night Raw – April 19, 1999: WWF Needs Ritalin

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 19, 1999
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Attendance: 10,671
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross

It’s the go home show for Backlash and the main story is the Ministry being totally out of control. The Corporation is fighting them as well as they can but there’s just too much going on for them to do much good. Other than that we’ll get the fallout from Rock throwing both Austin and the title belt into the river last week. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the Smoking Skull belt being introduced and then thrown in the river last week with Austin following it into the water.

Rock drives a hearse into the arena because he buried the title last week. This week it’s going to be a funeral with Rock delivering the eulogy. We even have a casket, flowers, and a big mound of dirt. Rock climbs onto the mound while guaranteeing to show that he’s the best champion ever on Sunday. Simple stuff here but on a big stage.

Vince and Stephanie will do a sitdown interview in Connecticut tonight so Vince is checking with security to make sure Stephanie is safe.

Road Dogg vs. Owen Hart

There’s no ramp this week due to the grave taking up so much space. Before the match, Dogg says that the Outlaws are the #1 contenders but if he loses tonight, Owen and Jarrett are the #1 contenders, no questions asked. However, if Dogg wins, the world gets to see Debra’s puppies. That’s the first time that term was ever used in the WWF so there’s your historical moment.

Owen jumps Dogg to start as Jerry is now a huge Roadie fan. The left hands and shaky knee drop get two on Owen but he comes back with a spinwheel kick (Lawler: “NO!”). A legdrop gets two more for Hart and he nails an enziguri for a close two. Owen drops a middle rope elbow but Dogg kicks out of the Sharpshooter and hits the pumphandle slam for the pin, sending Lawler into orbit.

Rating: D. This was just about the post match stuff and introducing one of the longest running jokes in WWF history to the lexicon. The tag match on Sunday was the more important story anyway, but this is far most historic. It says a lot that Owen and Jarrett were one of the top teams in the division.

Jeff Jarrett prevents the unveiling.

Undertaker sends the Acolytes out to take care of the Brood.

Rock is practicing his eulogy.

Brood vs. Acolytes

Christian is the odd man out here. It’s a brawl to start with the power guys easily taking over to start. Farrooq powerbombs Edge down but the Canadian comes back with a spinwheel kick and some lame kicks to the shoulder. That’s fine with Farrooq as he comes back with a spinebuster and makes the tag to Bradshaw. Gangrel comes in and fights out of a superplex before hitting a quick DDT.

Bradshaw hits a quick fall away slam and brings Farrooq back in for a belly to back suplex/neckbreaker combo. Farrooq works on the back as Lawler’s voice sounds like it’s cracking. Gangrel finally gets over for a tag but Bradshaw takes Edge’s head off before he can get going. The double powerbomb lays out Edge but Shamrock runs in with a ball bat to knock Bradshaw silly for the DQ.

Rating: D+. Not much better than the opener but it had more time and the teams knew how to work a decent match. Neither team would do anything for awhile but once Edge and Christian took off they never looked back. The main event war continues to devour the entire company.

Undertaker is livid at the Acolytes for not getting a pin.

There’s a new special coming. It’s called Smackdown.

During the break, Undertaker and Viscera beat the tar out of Farrooq and Bradshaw.

Intercontinental Title: Godfather vs. Hardcore Holly

Only Godfather’s title is on the line. It’s a slugout to start with Godfather getting the better of it. A boot to the face sends Holly to the floor where he picks up a cookie sheet, only to get rolled up for two. The Ho Train crushes Holly but we’ve got a ref bump a minute into the match. Holly rolls outside again and nails Godfather with the cookie sheet several times before throwing him out to the floor. A hockey stick over Godfather’s back has him in even more trouble but Godfather kicks a chair into Holly’s face. Goldust comes out and breaks up Godfather’s cover, but Snow lays Holly out with Head to give Godfather the pin.

Rating: D-. Did I mention this is Russo time? It’s a three minute and five second match, complete with a ref bump, four weapons and two run ins. I have no idea why the match needed all this stuff but that’s part of Russo’s philosophy: a title match isn’t enough to keep the fans’ entrance so all this stuff has to be thrown in. It works once in awhile but when it happens all the time, the effect wears off.

Undertaker is on the phone with Mideon and tells him not to fail.

Rock is having his shoes shined and promises to bury Austin tonight.

Ken Shamrock vs. Big Boss Man

No holds barred due to Boss Man attacking Shamrock last week to kick him out of the Corporation, though Shamrock is still loyal to Vince. The brawl starts in the aisle with no one in control. Boss Man is sent into the steps and then into the ring for the opening bell. Shamrock kicks Boss Man in the head and they slug it out until an enziguri (hit Ken’s shoulder) puts Shamrock down. A much better pair of spinebusters get three straight two counts and a powerslam gets one more. Boss Man hammers away even more but Ken grabs a hurricanrana and belly to belly out of nowhere for the pin.

Rating: D-. The gimmick brings this down as there was no reason for this to be no holds barred at all. If nothing else it makes future matches with the same gimmick look stupid as fans will say “the last one sucked so why should I care about this one?” As a regular match it wasn’t much to see either.

Undertaker immediately pops up and says he knows where Ryan Shamrock is, even knowing her room number. Ken runs to the back.

The Mean Street Posse comes out for commentary.

Mankind vs. HHH

Some right hands have HHH in early trouble but Chyna pulls Mankind down by the tie and hits him in the face. That doesn’t last long though as a backdrop puts HHH down again and he gets tied up in the Tree of Woe. HHH comes back again and hits the running knee to send Mankind outside. Chyna gets in even more shots as the Posse hasn’t had much to say so far.

Back in and HHH drops a knee for two before clotheslining Mankind out to the floor. Both guys are sent into the steps with HHH getting the better of it and hammering away back inside. The Pedigree is countered but HHH blocks the catapult attempt, so Mankind falls head first onto his crotch. Socko is loaded up but Chyna crotches Mankind against the post for a DQ.

Rating: C-. Better match but that’s still not saying match. These guys were capable of having some classics but they need more than six minutes on a random Raw in the middle of April. The DQ/screwy finishes are getting really annoying tonight, which says a lot given what we usually have to sit through on this show.

Post match the Corporation comes in to attack Mankind but Big Show makes the save. He hits a HUGE chokeslam on Test to send everyone running. Mankind grabs the mic and says thank you very much, but they’ll still meet in his boiler room on Sunday.

Rock is on the phone in the parking lot and says his car cost $40,000.

Billy Gunn vs. Jeff Jarrett

Jeff sends him into the corner and stomps away to start but walks into a great powerslam for two. Owen comes out to trip Billy, allowing Jarrett to clothesline him outside. Road Dogg gets caught trying to help and Gunn is posted. A bulldog gets two for Jarrett but Billy drops him face first onto the top turnbuckle to take over.

Road Dogg helps his partner out with a right hand but Billy and Jeff hit heads to knock each other down. JR is already annoyed at the puppy jokes as Billy nails a neckbreaker, but Debra unbuttons her top to show off her bra. Billy simply drops his tights and hits a Fameasser on Jarrett but Owen comes in for the DQ.

Rating: C-. That’s almost out of pity as these matches have just been awful tonight. The tag matches make sense for Sunday, but I don’t see the point in having one team win both of the matches. The puppy stuff would dominate anything to do with women for about the next three years, much to JR’s annoyances.

Debra takes off her jacket but Jeff covers her bra with the guitar.

Rock won’t give an interview to and tells the interviewer to get him some fruit.

Viscera vs. Big Show

They lock up to start and Big Show easily shoves him to the mat. Viscera takes him into the corner for some fat man splashes, only to get crushed with a clothesline. A rather impressive hiptoss puts Viscera down but he comes back with more fat man splashes. Big Show kicks him in the face to drop Viscera again but the lights go out as he loads up the chokeslam. We’ll say it’s a no contest here after your usual battle of the huge men match.

Undertaker and Paul Bearer come to the ring and we get the real showdown with Big Show. They slug it out and both try chokeslams but Viscera gets back up for the double team. Big Show still won’t go down but Undertaker punches him onto one knee. Mankind comes out to even things up but Undertaker leaves Viscera alone. Big Show superkicks Viscera to the floor. It really is amazing how much bigger Show is than Viscera, who is a massive man.

We look at Shane taking over the Corporation last week.

Vince and Stephanie are in Connecticut for a sitdown interview with Michael Cole. Vince says he’s always been proud of Shane but he wasn’t always there for him. Shane missed a lot as well because Vince wasn’t there, but Vince wasn’t proud last week. Stephanie can’t believe what Shane has done recently but knows that the only person that can keep her safe is Vince.

Security interrupts the interview and says something is going on in the parking lot. Vince tells the guards to stay there with Stephanie and goes after whoever is in the parking lot. It turns out to be Mideon and Vince beats the tar out of him before trying to crush Mideon with his own car. Mideon escapes and gets into the car as we go to a break.

Here’s Val Venis to say he’s solved the Y2K problem. All the ladies have to do is add a few extra bytes of ram from his hard drive and everything will be fine. This brings out Sable who says that’s nice, but she’s got bigger news: in two weeks, she’ll be shooting her second Playboy pictorial. This brings out Ivory and D’Lo Brown and the double brawl is on for no apparent reason. Now Sable’s bodyguard Nicole Bass comes out to destroy Ivory with a chokeslam. Val seems to have eyes for Sable.

It’s time for Rock to deliver the eulogy for Austin. Rock sets the tone with “Dearly trailer park trash”. Oh we could be in for a good one here. Rock isn’t sure if a roody poo like Steve Austin will fit in that casket before we get the real point of this: Rock opens his jacket to reveal the Smoking Skull belt. He runs his mouth about Backlash a bit until you can hear an engine revving.

We go outside and Austin is in a 3:16 monster truck. He goes over to the Rock’s car and puts it in the middle of the parking lot before getting back in the monster truck. Austin teases it a bit by driving around the Lincoln Continental a few times before crushing the brand new $40,000 car, sending Rock into a frenzy.

With that nice and destroyed, Austin drives the truck into the arena and beers are consumed. Back into the truck and Austin runs over the hearse before the fight is on. Rock barely gets in a single shot before Austin nails him with the belt to send Rock into the grave. Austin poses with the title but Shane comes in (remember that he’s the referee on Sunday) and breaks a shovel over Austin’s head to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This is where Vince Russo was in need of the leash more than ever. All the stuff in the middle of this show was about as dreadful as you can get because it keeps going so fast that you can’t keep up with anything at all. However, there’s good stuff on both ends of the show that make it worth seeing. As for a go home show though, this really didn’t hold up well either. Most of the matches were just glossed over and the pay per view sounds like it’s going to be a big commercial for the next night’s Raw. That being said, it’s still better than anything WCW was doing at this point and that’s all that mattered.

Here’s Backlash if you’re interested:

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