Monday Night Raw – September 14, 1998: The Rock Turns Face
Date: September 14, 1998
Location: San Jose Arena, San Jose, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
Finally we’re back on Mondays and it’s time to get ready for Breakdown. We have this and one more show before then and THANK GOODNESS the big names are back tonight. I couldn’t take another week like we had the previous two shows with all of the DQ’s and then the B level talent two days before this. The card is interesting looking tonight so let’s get to it.
Here’s Austin to open the show. Vince, Taker and Kane are already in the ring without having entrances televised. That’s something you don’t see every day. Vince says cut the music and goes into a rant about how he’s tired of seeing that title on Austin’s shoulder. On September 27 (notice that Vince keeps saying the date instead of just the name. That’s very important in building a show) there’s a triple threat match with Austin defending against both Brothers of Destruction.
Vince says he’ll never forget all of the stuff Austin has done to them. He says that he’s scratched the monsters’ back so now they’ll be watching his. If Austin goes after Vince at all, either one or both of them will be all over Austin immediately. Also at the PPV, Undertaker can’t pin Kane and Kane can’t pin Undertaker.
Vince flat out says it’s two on one because Austin won’t do things the easy way. Stone Cold screwed Stone Cold. That’s enough for Austin and he goes after Vince but the monsters jump him. They finish him with a double chokeslam. While on the ramp, Taker says it’s just business. Vince adds that it’s Austin defending against Shamrock later tonight.
Austin is mad after a break.
Jeff Jarrett vs. Road Dogg
Billy has braids in his hair in case he didn’t look stupid enough already. We actually get clips of the Roadie days. Jarrett jumps him to start but he slides between Roadie’s legs and walks into the Shake Rattle and Roll for two. A back elbow puts Jarrett down and the shaky kneedrop gets two. Road Dogg goes to the corner for ten punches, with Jeff’s face towards the crowd. That’s a new one. Jarrett comes back but crotches himself on the middle rope. Southern Justice pulls Road Dogg to the floor for a beatdown so Billy and Pac come running. The distraction lets Jeff hit the guitar shot for the pin.
Rating: C-. Not much here but it’s cool to see some people with history together out there together. I’m not sure what they were going with here by pushing Jarrett over DX but I think it was supposed to wind up with Jarrett getting a main event heel push but Austin put the brakes on that hard and you don’t argue with Austin in 1998. Southern Justice only had about two weeks left on Raw.
We get a clip from Heat last night where Shamrock called out Austin and challenged him for a title match anywhere anytime.
Road Dogg is put into an ambulance due to a guitar shot to the throat.
Kane vs. The Rock
In the back Rock is giving the Nation instructions but it turns into an argument so finally Rock says he’ll do this himself. They slug it out to start and Rock gets knocked to the floor. He grabs Kane’s leg and rams it into the apron and steps but he can’t keep Kane down. Kane powerslams him down and the fans are totally behind Rock here. Another slam sets up the top rope clothesline for two.
Rock avoids an elbow drop and hits the spinning DDT to get the fans back into it. Kane sits up but Rock punches Kane down in the corner. Neckbreaker gets two. The referee gets bumped and Rock hits the People’s Elbow. Undertaker jumps in and beats up Rocky, throwing him to the floor. Mankind comes in with a sledgehammer and blasts Kane in the back of the head with it, giving Rock the pin.
Rating: C. If he wasn’t already, the Rock was just turned face. His match at Summerslam was such a show stealer that the fans couldn’t help but cheer him. Thankfully WWF picked up on that and ran with it, unlike today where they seem incapable of listening to their audience the majority of the time. The match was pretty decent too.
Undertaker says this ends tonight with Mankind, and he can bring the sledgehammer.
Mankind says he’s been working on some scientific moves so he’d be glad to accept Undertaker’s offer to a fair fight.
Here’s Dustin Runnels to complain about how horrible this place is anymore. Someone is still coming apparently. Cue Val Venis for some innuendo. He has a new video for Dustin called The Preacher’s Wife, which is him in bed with his wife Terri. Dustin breaks down and falls to his knees. Val: “I guess getting on your knees runs in the family.”
We see the REAL MAN’S MAN Steven Regal chopping down a tree. No song unfortunately.
Intercontinental Title: HHH vs. Owen Hart
They fight over wrist control to start with Owen doing his counter to the wristlock with the flip and nipup in it. Clothesline gets two for the champion. HHH runs the ropes a bit but walks into a belly to belly to give Owen control. Small package gets two for the future Game but he gets caught by an enziguri for two. Powerslam gets the same. HHH comes back with a leg sweep and some clotheslines. Facebuster gets two. The spinning heel kick from Owen looks to set up the Sharpshooter but Henry and Chyna get in a fight. The distraction allows HHH to hit the Pedigree to retain.
Rating: C+. Did Owen ever get a fair pin over HHH? If he did I certainly can’t remember it. This furthers the idea of the Nation having problems which would result in a breakup soon after this. HHH would get hurt pretty soon and have to forfeit the title if I remember correctly. This was more about the stuff outside though.
Henry challenges Chyna and X-Pac to a handicap match which is accepted.
Mankind loads up weapons into a dumpster while singing It’s Off To Work We Go.
Mankind vs. The Undertaker
Mankind brings a dumpster full of weapons which he sets up around the ring. They both have sledgehammers so Mankind grabs the Claw to make Undertaker drop his. They immediately go to the floor and Taker is slammed into the side of the dumpster. There’s a ladder but Taker gets in a shot and works on the hands of Foley. He crushes the left hand between the steps and throws Foley through a table. They finally get back in the ring and Taker punches him down.
Back to the outside and Mankind manages a Stunner onto the top rope, losing his mask in the process. Undertaker kicks him into the side of the dumpster and puts Mankind against the steps. He swings the sledgehammer at Mankind’s head but due to wanting to avoid death, Foley moves. Kane chokeslams Mankind through the table and they go back in. Taker has the hammer so Mankind grabs a chair.
Taker kicks the chair into his face and chokeslams Foley. I’m pretty sure the match is thrown out at this point. Tombstone on a chair leaves Foley dead. He grabs the hammer but Rock pops out of the dumpster to save Foley and draw the Brothers away. How did Rock know when to pop out or what was going on outside?
Rating: C. It was a mess but these two are always worth looking at. This would continue the Rock’s turn and make Undertaker look like a complete psycho, thereby furthering his heel turn instead of being a tweener. It wasn’t really a match and it didn’t really have an ending, but it was entertaining enough.
Gangrel vs. Edge
Edge comes off the top rope and pounds on Gangrel to start. Downward Spiral is blocked and Gangrel goes up, only to get caught in a front falling electric chair drop. A German suplex is countered into a modified belly to belly by Gangrel for two. Edge comes out of the corner with a neckbreaker but a swan dive misses. Impaler is countered and they go to the floor. Edge tries a plancha but Gangrel moves, sending Edge crashing down. The Impaler on the floor knocks Edge out and the match is thrown out.
Rating: C-. Nothing much here but it’s always cool to see someone like Edge when they’re just getting started. The real explanation of these two was never given but it was clearly something about vampires or whatever. Gangrel never quite clicked in WWF but that’s probably because he was hanging out with guys like Edge and eventually Christian, which would make almost anyone look inferior.
X-Pac/Chyna vs. Mark Henry
X-Pac starts but gets shoved to the floor. D-Lo comes out to counteract HHH. Jarrett and Southern Justice come out just after Brown, giving us a total of eight people in the arena for this. HHH grabs a chair as Pac tries to suplex Henry. Chyna comes in to help and they THROW Henry over in a suplex. That looked awesome. Pac gets in some kicks before tagging in Chyna for a spear. A single forearm puts Henry down and it’s back to Pac. Another spin kick sets up the Bronco Buster but Brown grabs Chyna’s leg. Pac takes him out and Chyna goes up. She jumps into a powerslam and gets pinned. Too short to rate but it was ok.
Sable vs. Jacqueline
Evening gown match. Before the match we get a clip from 1995 with the Fink vs. Harvey Whippelman in a tuxedo match. Sable kicks her in the ribs a few times and rips a strap off the gown. Total squash with Sable pounding on her, powerbombing her and stripping her. This was nothing.
Sable strips her own gown off post match.
Shamrock says Austin will be the next victory for him.
WWF World Title: Ken Shamrock vs. Steve Austin
Austin goes right for him and the fight is on. Shamrock takes him down and they go to the mat. Ken goes for the ankle but Austin bails to the floor and gets his shirt off. He pulls Shamrock to the mat and wraps it around the post. A suplex sets up a headlock by Austin as the match slows way down. Back to their feet and Shamrock hits a heel kick and a quick suplex for two. Austin powerbombs him out of a rana and adds a middle rope elbow for two.
Back to the chinlock as Austin keeps slowing things down. It’s not a bad thing I guess but it’s uncharacteristic for Austin. He tries a Boston Crab but Shamrock spins him off. There’s a sleeper but it’s quickly broken up. They go up to the corner and Shamrock headbutts him down to the mat. He jumps off but Austin punches him out of the air. Back to the chinlock but Shamrock comes back, only to get thrown to the floor.
Austin follows him out and loads up a piledriver, only to get backdropped onto the concrete. Back inside Shamrock pounds him down in the corner and chokes Austin on the mat. There’s the Boston Crab but Austin makes a rope. Austin gets the rope and stomps Shamrock down into the corner. They collide in the middle….and here are Undertaker and Kane for the DQ.
Rating: B-. This was a very good idea for a show like this as Austin had to break a sweat here and had a real challenge but was never in any real danger of losing the title. For something like a fifteen minute match, that’s a great way to end a Raw. Why they don’t do this more often today is beyond me.
Rock and Mankind make the save as Vince is panicking. Austin chases Vince away to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. This was WAY better than the last two weeks as everything had energy to it and a lot of the show was about setting up matches at Breakdown. We’re alost to that show now and it’s starting to shape up well. After that it’s Judgment Day and then on to Survivor Series. Good show here and it’s great to be back on track after the horrible Saturday shows.
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