Monday Night Raw – November 9, 1998: Cheer The Rock While You Can
Monday Night Raw
Date: November 9, 1998
Location: Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
It’s the final show before Survivor Series and the Deadly Game Tournament to crown a new WWF Champion. Nothing has been announced tonight but Rock is currently out of the tournament, so I’d bet there’s going to be a way tonight for him to get back into the field. I barely remember this time for some reason but next week we’re in Lexington, which I didn’t go to for some reason. Let’s get to it.
Rock vs. Henry tonight and if Rock doesn’t win by pin or submission he’s fired.
X-Pac vs. Undertaker
Pac tries to fight fast, kicking Taker into the corner to start. Taker grabs him by the throat and launches Pac into the corner to pounds away. Maybe 30 seconds in the lights go out and here’s Kane.
Taker stands X-Pac next to him and Kane shoots a fireball at Pac. Kane chases Taker up the ramp.
X-Pac is getting treatment on his eye in the back.
Vince tells Mankind that he has to defend the Hardcore Title tonight against Shamrock. Mankind is cool with that but Vince also wants to give Mankind a makeover. This could be interesting.
Val Venis vs. Steve Blackman
Terri still says Val is the father of her baby but last night on Heat Val said he had a vasectomy. Val tries to start fast but Blackman kicks him in the chest to take him down. Off to a quick chinlock followed by a chop to the chest to take Val down again. A snap suplex gets two for Steve as does a spin kick. In a counter I’ve never seen before, Val avoids a sunset flip to send Blackman crashing to the mat. Val hits some knees to the ribs but here’s Terri to hit Val low and draw the DQ.
Rating: D. Nothing to see here as this was about Val and Terri more than anything else. Blackman was nothing of note by this point and he just filled in a spot on the roster. Val was another character that only had so much of a shelf life as an adult star isn’t something that can go very far, at least not on basic cable. This was pretty worthless.
Owen Hart runs out and beats up Steve Blackman.
Mankind gets a haircut.
Mosh vs. Road Dogg vs. D’Lo Brown
Brown and Dogg get started without Mosh. Shane McMahon is the referee and Mosh is in now. Everyone fights everyone to start and no one can get a clear advantage. Mosh rolls up Dogg for two. Brown is the only one left standing and he informs us that he does not suck. He misses a charge into the corner and Mosh pounds away at him, only for Roadie to roll him up for two.
Mosh dumps Brown to the floor and gets two on Road Dogg. A top rope leg drop misses but the frog splash misses Mosh. Everyone is down so Shane counts a bit. Road Dogg is the first one up and he double clotheslines both guys down, only to walk into a leg lariat from Brown. Mosh hits the Stage Dive (top rope seated senton) out of nowhere on Brown for the pin.
Rating: C. I liked this as they didn’t have a formula for these things yet so this actually came off as something different out of a three way match. They were playing up the idea that anyone could win here so that on Sunday when the titles were on the line in the triple threat the titles would seem to be more in jeopardy. This was surprisingly good.
Jarrett says Al Snow ticks him off and on Sunday he’s going to take him out. As for tonight, Debra (who sounds like she has a sore throat) says she’ll prove Goldust is all man.
Mankind gets a pedicure and mourns his losing of Socko.
Goldust vs. Jeff Jarrett
Terri comes out in the Marlena outfit but Goldust tells her to get out of his life because she’s earned her problems. Jarrett jumps Goldie and knocks him to the floor. Back in and Goldust rolls through a top rope cross body for two and takes over with his usual strikes. Back to the floor and Jarrett gets dropped face first onto the steps. Debra offers a distraction and Jarrett clotheslines Goldust, somehow making him fall forward. That gets Jeff nowhere though as Goldust hits a bulldog for two back inside. Goldie pounds away in corner but Debra blocks Shattered Dreams. Goldust kisses her but walks into a guitar shot for the DQ.
Rating: D+. Again this was just filler but it had some cleavage in it at least. Other than that though this was just filler until we got to the guitar shot as well as a way to have the beginning part with Terri being told to get away from Dustin. These two seem to be the same kind of old school guys so the match wasn’t bad but it was pretty worthless.
We talk about Jesse Ventura being elected recently.
Rock says he doesn’t like Vince that much but he’ll keep his job tonight. He doesn’t quite have his signature promo style down yet but that would really come into form next year.
After Rock is done talking we turn to see Goldust beating the tar out of Jarrett. The Blue Blazer runs up and attacks Goldust. Goldust gets up and goes after Jarrett again as the Blazer has left.
Hardcore Title: Ken Shamrock vs. Mankind
Mankind is defending but I can’t call him the champ because Shamrock is IC Champion. Mankind is in a tuxedo here. Vince and company come out to watch on the stage. Shamrock pounds him down to start and hits a leg lariat to put Mankind down again. Mankind takes off his shoe to hit Shamrock in the head and take over again. After a quick trip to the Tree of Woe we head to the floor and Shamrock grabs a small package for two.
Now Shamrock hits Mankind with the shoe and they go onto the announce table with Mankind pounding away. Back into the ring as Lawler is amazed by the shoe for some reason. Mankind and his blue vest are backdropped onto a chair for no cover. Back to the floor and Mankind reverses a whip, sending Shamrock into the steps. There’s the Claw on the floor as the announcers take some jabs at WCW for the Halloween Havoc 98 debacle.
Shamrock sends him into the steps to escape the hold and things slow down a bit. A belly to belly suplex puts Mankind down but Ken can’t cover. He goes for the ankle but Mankind kicks him low to escape. A chair shot to the back puts Shamrock down again but Mankind DDTs him on the chair for a close two.
Mankind chases him up the ramp with the chair but he can’t make contact on any of the swings. Shamrock grabs a belly to back suplex up by Vince but it only gets two. With both guys slowly getting up, Shamrock kills him with a chair but Bossman hits Shamrock with the nightstick and Mankind gets the pin to retain. Mankind didn’t see Bossman hit Shamrock.
Rating: C+. This was a far different kind of match than the Hardcore Title matches you would get used to which were based in comedy, as these two were beating the tar out of each other. Also this was back in the day when there wasn’t a history of these matches. See, new stuff did come out of the Attitude Era.
Rock has been attacked but we don’t know anything else about it.
Scratch that as apparently Rock has been hit in the back of the head with something.
Here’s Austin for a chat. Austin talks about overstepping his bounds with Vince and lists off some of the ways in which he’s done that. Here’s Bossman who says he’s well paid to take care of Austin on Sunday. Austin says that sounds like a threat so Austin implies that Bossman likes having fun with inmates in the shower. Or maybe that’s just how I interpreted him saying Bossman hears squeaks in the night. They’ll fight on Sunday. One thing to note here: Bossman kept saying the date of Survivor Series. That’s an old school tactic to sell a show and it’s very effective. Why does no one do that more often?
Rock is still being worked on.
Vince says Rock still has to win as an ambulance is being loaded up.
Al Snow vs. Tiger Ali Singh
Singh says Snow is wrestling Babu. Snow jumps Singh and hits him with Head. Here’s Debra as Babu gets sent into the ring.
Al Snow vs. Babu
Snow hits a wheelbarrow suplex but Singh offers a distraction. Babu gets in some offense but Snow shrugs it off. Singh low bridges Snow and Debra steals Head. Back in the ring the Snow Plow kills Babu but Snow sees Debra with Head. Singh bulldogs Snow and gets the pin. Since this is 1998, we’ll go with “sure, why not.”
Video of Sable working out.
Rock is STILL down in his locker room. Vince says he has to fight tonight.
Kane vs. Edge
Who would have thought this would be a world title match on some PPVs 12 years later? Kane has a can of gasoline and what appears to be a blowtorch. Edge runs to start but Kane gets his hands on him. The monster chokes in the corner but Edge clotheslines him to the floor. Back in and the beating really begins as Kane starts throwing the much smaller Edge around.
A rana is countered into a powerbomb and Edge is in trouble. He gets up and tries a missile dropkick but Kane shrugs it off. Kane sits up out of a DDT and throws Edge over the top and onto Gangrel. He clotheslines Edge off the steps and starts beating up the rest of the Brood. Edge gets in a baseball slide and a dive over the top rope to take Kane down. The rest of the Brood beats on Kane and there’s the DQ.
Rating: D. There was nothing to see here as Edge was getting NOTHING here, although to be fair he was nowhere near ready to do that yet. We don’t know anything about the Brood yet other than Edge and Christian are brothers. This wasn’t much of a match and the ending really hurt things too. Still though, nothing to see here.
Kane chokeslams all of them and piles them all up. He gets the gasoline and blowtorch as it’s time for a little human burning. Kane chokeslams the referee and puts him on the pile too. Other referees come up and save the guys from incineration.
Kane goes into the crowd for no apparent reason and chokeslams a fan over the railing.
Here’s Vince with something to say. Vince has the goons turn him to the stage so he can see Rock come out. Rock can wrestle with a headache so where is he? Vince says we’re in Dallas, the home of the Cowboys. Some Cowboys are here tonight and he wonders if they have the guts to stand up and be recognized. Vince makes fun of the Cowboys and says they’re on a losing streak. I’m a big Dallas fan so this is great heel stuff for me.
Instead Shane comes out with a mic. He says that this is about family business, not Rock or Austin or the people. Vince says this is his business, not family business. He tells Shane to get out before the goons beat on him. Shane stands his grounds so Vince tells Bossman to get him. Before Bossman hits him, here’s Austin for the save.
The Rock vs. Mark Henry
If Rock loses or doesn’t win by pin or submission, he’s out of a job. Vince and company are still at ringside. Apparently if Rock wins he’s also back in the tournament. After three times playing his music, here’s Rock in workout gear. Rock jumps Henry and fires off right hands. Rock hits some elbows to the chest and they head to the floor. Henry gets in a low blow and back inside we go.
Henry works on the back of Rock, despite the BIG FREAKING HEAD INJURY he had earlier in the night. Then again no one ever accused Henry of being a genius. Rock comes back with a suplex but Henry takes his head off with a clothesline. An elbow drop gets two and it’s time for a bearhug. Rock fights out of it and they clothesline each other down. Some clotheslines get two for Rock and with Brown up on the apron for some reason, Rock hits Henry low.
Henry comes back with a powerslam for a close two and now Bossman and Brown both get up on the apron. Somehow Bossman cuffs himself to the ring and Rock DDTs Henry for two but Brown pulls the referee out. There’s the Rock Bottom and the People’s Elbow but there’s still no referee. Shane runs out and counts the pin just to tick Vince off even more.
Rating: C-. The match was nothing of note here but the place was on fire for Rock. That’s what amazes me more and more as far as Sunday goes. Henry was his usual self here but Rock is strong enough to do something with a guy the size of Henry. Rock is one of those guys that can make ANYTHING entertaining and that’s what he did here. The head injury pretty much disappeared though.
Post match Rock beats up Vince and leaves him laying with a Rock Bottom.
Overall Rating: C+. This show’s wrestling was hit or miss but it was certainly entertaining. The tournament is way bigger than it needed to be as for the most part there were about six people (and that’s a stretch) who had a chance at winning the title. The show on Sunday would change things for the next several months, but dang it would get fun.
Here’s Survivor Series if you’re interested:
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