Monday Night Raw – July 19, 1999: Home Cooking Isn’t Good
Monday Night Raw
Date: July 19, 1999
Location: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky
Commentators: Jim Ross, Kevin Kelly
Now how did I not go to this one? This is the go home show for Fully Loaded and….egads I have no idea what happened last time and it wasn’t that long ago that I watched it. That’s the real problem with Russo’s insane booking: nothing has a chance to stick and if you’re not watching every single week, you’re going to be completely lost. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap (thank goodness) of Steve Austin agreeing to some special stipulations in his match with Undertaker on Sunday. If Austin wins, Vince McMahon is gone forever but if Undertaker wins, Undertaker gets the title and Austin is never allowed to challenge for the title again. I really shouldn’t need this less than a month after I last watched this show.
Here’s the Corporate Ministry, with Vince in a wheelchair, to open things up. Vince says this is an historic night because it’s the last night Austin will ever be here as the WWF Champion. The stakes have never been higher and in reality, it’s Undertaker’s career on the line this Sunday. Undertaker isn’t cool with that because no one threatens him. He’s fine with opening Austin up on Sunday, but it’s personal and not business.
Vince says he signs Undertaker’s check and made him who he is today. That’s even less cool with Undertaker, so HHH intervenes to start another argument. HHH knows that Vince made him and knows his place so give him a chance to pay the boss back. Vince isn’t sure if he can trust Undertaker so tonight, it’s Undertaker vs. HHH with the winner facing Austin for the title on Sunday. The loser gets to face the Rock in the strap match.
Cue Austin…and he’s driving a blood bank trunk. If Undertaker wants blood, Austin has brought him a whole truck full. Tonight, Undertaker is getting locked inside and Vince can make a donation to the blood bank. So this would be another angle that, assuming nothing changes, was set up and blown off in the same night because….well something has to fill in the time.
Post break, Vince is worried but HHH says it’s cool. If Vince takes care of him, HHH will do the same.
Road Dogg vs. Chyna
This is a Dog Pound match, which means Dog Collar, because Russo needs to change the name of one of the most obvious gimmicks ever. Chyna won’t put it on (even though Dogg heard she and HHH had something like it last night) so Dogg punches her down, drawing in Billy Gunn to hang Dogg. X-Pac comes out for the save and threatens them with the chain. The bell never rang so no match.
The bosses panic when someone knocks on Vince’s door but it’s the Mean Street Posse.
Post break here are Shane and the Mean Street Posse for a chat. Shane wants to apologize to Stephanie because it’s the right thing to do. After telling Test that it’ll be ok, here she is in the arena. Shane makes it clear that he didn’t hit Stephanie on purpose and it was really Test’s fault because he let everything get out of control.
He’s been working to make things better though and Joey Abs is willing to take Stephanie back so it can be like it was supposed to. Stephanie says they went out once and it was a nightmare. Joey says he knows Stephanie blew it the first time with him but he’s willing to take her back. That earns him a slap and Stephanie storms off. Shane promises to do things mean street style.
Rock signs an autograph. Ok then.
We see the press conference announcing that Jesse Ventura will be at Summerslam.
Tag Team Titles: Val Venis/Godfather vs. Acolytes vs. Hardy Boyz vs. Prince Albert/Droz
The Hardys are defending and this is elimination rules. Ivory is one of Godfather’s ladies again. Bradshaw slams Matt to start but it’s off to Albert to catch Bradshaw in a powerslam. A side slam sets up a splash for two but Bradshaw is right back up with the Clothesline for the elimination. Venis comes in and hammers away until Bradshaw catches him in a fall away slam.
Val hits a spinebuster so Bradshaw tags Jeff….and then hits him in the back. Godfather’s big legdrop gets two on Jeff and it’s off to Bradshaw, who gets hit in the head with a cane for the pin. That leaves us with Venis/Godfather vs. the Hardys and Godfather hits the Ho Train on Matt. The Pimp Drop (Death Valley Driver) but Jeff hurricanranas Val down, awakening Matt for the fast pin.
Rating: D. So before the Acolytes get their regular title shot on Sunday, we have a four way elimination match for the titles on Monday? Is that really the best choice of booking? And to have the Acolytes get eliminated in the middle by a team they’re not facing in the title match? This is one of the screwiest booking decisions I’ve seen in a long time, or maybe just since the start of the show.
Jeff Jarrett tells Debra not to say anything tonight.
GTV shows us actor Ben Stiller and his friends talking about the show. It’s a plug for the upcoming Mystery Men movie but Stiller would rather check out Debra’s puppies. This includes burying his face in them, though they see the camera and aren’t happy.
Lawler is on commentary now and just in time.
Intercontinental Title: Jeff Jarrett vs. Christian
Jeff is defending and has Debra with her. Before the match, Jeff tells Austin to stay away from him and the belt or Austin will be turned into a pair of boots. Christian wastes no time in getting two off a powerbomb and the reverse DDT is good for the same. A high crossbody draws Debra to the apron as Christian hits the yet to be named Killswitch. That means a very delayed two so Jeff goes outside for the guitar. Christian takes it away but the referee takes it away as well, setting up the also yet to be named Stroke for the pin to retain Jeff’s title. Energetic while it lasted.
Post match the lights go out and Jarrett gets a Bloodbath. Edge comes out and brawls with Jarrett.
HHH sends Chyna to the ring with Billy Gunn and offers to take care of Vince.
During the break, Jeff yelled about Edge.
The Rock vs. Billy Gunn
Before the match, Rock says Billy isn’t feeling good but it’s probably just a little bit of Rock Fever. Billy can come out here and get his temperature taken. I think you get the joke here. The fight starts before the bell with Gunn getting in a few stomps as we officially get going. The Stinger Splash hits Rock but he comes out of the corner with that hard clothesline he uses when he comes out of the corner and needs a move like a hard clothesline.
Rock hits another clothesline but gets sent over the top with one of those really good looking jumps. Gunn posts him, which JR says wouldn’t even taste good with barbecue sauce. The chipolte ketchup would do it though. Back in and a Jackhammer sets up a chinlock as JR recaps the evening for Lawler. Rock fights up and hits a Samoan drop for a double knockdown.
The real comeback starts with the right hands in the corner and a hot shot of all things. There’s the Maivia Hurricane to draw Chyna up to the apron for a distraction but Rock hits the Rock Bottom anyway. Chyna chairs him down to break up the People’s Elbow though and the Fameasser gives Gunn the pin.
Rating: D+. I know they saw something in Gunn for years but as soon as the theme music comes on again, the joke gets old all over again. Gunn beating Rock at any time never felt right and continues to show how Rock wasn’t up to Austin’s level while he was still around. We’re getting closer and closer to Rock’s huge run and while he’s a big deal, he’s not Austin and won’t be for a long time.
HHH and Vince chat a bit more.
Big Boss Man vs. Al Snow
Snow’s Hardcore Title isn’t on the line here but he’s still insane after the spike was put through Head. Boss Man stands in the ring as Snow throws in a bunch of chairs. He throws in a prosthetic leg for a bonus and demands that Boss Man hit him. Boss Man does just that, knocking Snow cold with the nightstick for the DQ.
As a bonus, Boss Man cuffs him to the top rope for more stick shots. Snow looks elated and Boss Man is just confused. I’ll sign up on Boss Man’s side.
Edge/D’Lo Brown vs. Mideon/Gangrel
Brown is challenging Mideon for the European Title on Sunday in case this feels very random. It’s a brawl to start with Edge punching Mideon on the floor as Brown takes over on Gangrel inside. Things settle down to Edge and Mideon crawling around on the mat until Edge takes over with an armbar. Edge slips out of a slam and takes Mideon down, allowing the tag off to Brown. Everything breaks down and it’s a Sky High into the Low Down to finish Mideon.
Austin walks near Vince’s office…because he wants some water near the door. He’ll let us know when he’s coming for Vince’s blood.
Test vs. Steve Blackman
Blackman is a hired gun to take Test out. Speaking of Test going out, he heads outside to start beating Blackman up before the bell but a hard shoulder takes him down back inside. Test shrugs off a half crab but walks into a spinebuster to put him right back down. The bicycle kick misses though and Test hits a gutwrench powerbomb. It’s time for the pumphandle powerslam but here are Shane and the Posse for the DQ.
Ken Shamrock makes the save with a baseball bat and stares Blackman down before their fight on Sunday.
Countdown to the Millennium.
Blackman left during the break. This has been vital information.
Big Show/Hardcore Holly vs. X-Pac/Kane
X-Pac tells Kane to leave but has to settle for Kane fighting Show on the floor. That leaves Holly to hit the Falcon Arrow and go outside after Kane. Cue Undertaker to chokeslam X-Pac for….not a DQ, even though the referee was in the ring and telling Undertaker not to do it. Undertaker grabs the steps to take out both Holly and Show as we’ll go with the no contest because disqualifications don’t exist around here.
Post match (I guess?), Kane goes back to the ring to help X-Pac up but Undertaker tells him it’s over. Kane sees a replay of Undertaker attacking X-Pac though and that means a chokeslam to Undertaker. So is that a face turn? Or a heel unturn? Why is this so complicated Undertaker isn’t happy as Kane and X-Pac leave together.
HHH vs. Undertaker
The winner challenges Austin on Sunday but the loser faces Rock in a #1 contenders match. HHH has Chyna, plus Vince in a wheelchair, with him. For reasons unclear, Undertaker does a full entrance again despite being in the ring after the previous match. They slug it out to start (well duh) with Undertaker getting the better of it and knocking HHH out to the floor. That goes nowhere so they head back inside with Undertaker charging into an elbow.
A clothesline puts Undertaker outside again and a Chyna distraction lets HHH knock him into the steps. Undertaker hits a quick Stunner over the top rope as this is actually resembling a match so far. And since we haven’t had enough drama so far, we cut to the back where Austin says he’s coming for McMahon’s blood right now. Cue Austin to go after Undertaker for the DQ.
Rating: D+. I’ll take what I can get on this show as they certainly aren’t pushing the wrestling so far. It was a lot of punching and kicking for a few minutes but at least we got something with a coherent point. Austin running in wasn’t surprising as they already had both matches set up for Sunday and there was no reason to change anything. That would bring up the question of why you book these stipulations in the first place but the internet isn’t big enough to explain all the holes in logic.
Post match the fight is on with Rock running in to join the fight. Undertaker and Austin fight up by the blood mobile with Austin throwing him in the back. HHH and Chyna are gone and reality sets in for Vince in a hurry. Austin comes back to ringside and hits Vince in the head with the belt to bust him open. Naturally he uses the blood to sign the Fully Loaded contract and beer is consumed. That doesn’t end the show though as Undertaker comes back (having used his evil powers to open an unlocked door) and nails Austin with a beer can to bust him open. Posing with the title wraps up the show.
Overall Rating: D. It’s more of the same, but they did have a slightly better focus this week because of the pay per view. The problem of course is how everything comes and goes with no particular reason, including stories that aren’t explained and matches that are too short to be anything more than quick appearances. Things will get better in a few months, but that doesn’t make this time any easier to watch.
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