by Logan Scisco
-Pictures of last night’s Intercontinental championship match between Steve Austin and the Rock at D-Generation X are shown.
-Jim Ross, Michael Cole, and Kevin Kelly are in the booth and they are live from Portland, Maine. This is Cole’s first stint in the RAW commentary booth and he takes the lead and does 97% of the commentary for the first ten minutes of the show. Looks like it’s going to be a long night.
-Vince McMahon comes out, shakes a few fans hands, and proceeds to continue the slow burn of the Austin-McMahon feud by criticizing Austin’s attacks on WWF officials and driving his truck to the ring at D-Generation X last night. McMahon explains that the Rock should have won by disqualification last night, but a second referee counted the fall before that result could happen so McMahon orders a rematch tonight. Austin comes out and McMahon warns him that there will be consequences if he does not defend the title. Austin is unfazed and warns McMahon that he’ll whip his ass if those consequences are levied.
-In the championship match of the Karate Fighters Holiday Tournament, Sunny beats Jerry Lawler by disqualification when Lawler uses gum and a female action figure and then bribes the referee to win. You really cannot make this stuff up.
-The announce team recaps last night’s tag team championship match between Jesse James & Billy Gunn and the Legion of Doom.
-Opening Contest: The Legion of Doom wrestle The Godwinns (w/Jesse James & Billy Gunn) to a no contest at 2:28:
This works a good pace for the first two minutes, with the Legion of Doom dominating the action until Animal is knocked out the ring and tossed into the steps. Suddenly the lights go out and Kane’s music hits and he destroys Hawk.
-Call 815-734-1161 to get your copy of WWF the Music: Volume 2. It will cost you $20 for CD and $15 for the tape (plus $4 shipping & handling)!
-WWF Tag Team Champions Jesse James and Billy Gunn sing goodbye to the Legion of Doom and James challenges any WWF superstar to a singles match with Gunn. Dude Love answers the challenge.
-Dude Love defeats “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn (w/Jesse James) with a double-arm DDT at 3:37:
Standard singles match between these two and the only thing to say is that Gunn works in a nice legsweep counter to Sweet Shin Music. After the bell, James comes into the ring and blasts Love with a chair and Gunn hits a flying leg drop as the tag team title belts are laid across Love’s face. Rating: **
-The Rock cuts a promo with the Nation of Domination and debuts his trademark sunglasses, which goes a long way towards enhancing his look. He says he’s going to become the people’s champion again tonight.
-The announce team recaps the light heavyweight championship match last night between Taka Michinoku and Brian Christopher. Cole calls Christopher’s finisher “The Tennessee Leg Jam.” Ugh.
-Brian Christopher claims that Michinoku stole his title in a promo cut after their match last night at D-Generation X.
-Jim Cornette hosts an interview between Michinoku and El Unico (Brian Christopher in a mask), which gets hijacked by Jerry Lawler giving a xenophobic rant. Christopher unmasks and a two-on-one beat down results, where Michinoku takes three piledrivers, thereby rendering him critically dead inside of the Memphis city limits.
-A video package highlights how D-Generation X systematically destroyed the Hart Foundation.i
-Flash Funk beats Kurrgan (w/The Jackal) via reverse decision at 2:27:
The Truth Commission has been written off and Jackal explains that it’s because that was just a corporate ploy to hold Kurrgan down and now he will do Jackal’s bidding to take over the WWF. Kurrgan is never knocked off of his feet in this squash and he wins with the Paralyzer (clawhold). However, he refuses to release the hold and the decision is reversed. Sniper and Recon come out to get Kurrgan off of Funk, but it doesn’t work and Kurrgan only releases the hold when Jackal slaps him and laughs. After this Kurrgan would keep squashing lower talents, but never amounted to anything in singles competition.
-The announce crew recaps the D-Generation X WWF title match between Shawn Michaels and Ken Shamrock and Owen Hart’s interference.
-Cole’s interview with an outraged Ken Shamrock last night after D-Generation X is shown. Shamrock says he’ll win the Royal Rumble and get a new crack at Shawn Michaels if that’s what it takes.
-Since we are in hour two, Ross and Lawler are in the booth.
-D-Generation X comes out and gloats about last night’s pay-per-view. Michaels says he tried to flush the turd that was the Hart Foundation, but one little nugget stays around, which is Owen Hart. Michaels says that DX is going to play strip poker until Owen shows up. The Headbangers come out and complain that they cannot wrestle because of these shenanagins. They overturn the card table, which leads to a beatdown and D-Generation X does the Pitbulls Superbomb spot through a table on Thrasher. As Michaels relaxes, Owen comes out of the crowd and does a hit and run attack.
-Jeff Jarrett defeats Vader by count out in ten seconds:
Before the match gets started, Goldust and Luna Vachon come out and Goldust flashes Vader. Vader is incensed and chases Goldust to the locker room to give Jarrett his second straight cheap win.
-Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear why a former WWF title holder's career is in jeopardy of being over.
-The announcers recap the Toughman contest between Marc Mero and Butterbean.
-Cole’s interview with Butterbean after D-Generation X is shown. Butterbean swears revenge. This never amounted to anything unless you want to somehow link Butterbean's anger at Mero to what he did to Bart Gunn at WrestleMania XV.
-Salvatore Sincere beats Marc Mero (w/Sable) by count out in ten seconds:
Mero tells the crowd that he feels insulted that he has to wrestle a jobber tonight and he brings out Sable, who is wearing an Idaho potato sack. However, instead of disrobing Mero she takes off her sack to reveal a very revealing bikini. Mero quickly covers Sable up and takes her backstage and Sincere takes the count out, but actually leaves the ring before the referee finishes it. He’s the winner anyway.
-Call 1-900-RUMBLE-98 to register yourself in the Steve Austin pickup truck contest! It’ll cost you $1.99 or you can send a postcard to WWF headquarters.
-The next match is the scheduled main event between Intercontinental Champion Steve Austin and The Rock, but Austin comes out and refuses to wrestle. Austin dares McMahon to fire him and the Rock has a funny bit by saying “Vince, the Rock thinks you should fire him!” As a result, McMahon declares the Rock as the new champion by forfeit. Austin does not mind because he says he really wants the WWF title and he shakes the Rock’s hand and gives him a Stunner. Austin takes the belt with him and says he has some major non-wrestling plans for it next week. When Vince leaves the ring, Austin runs the ropes and McMahon goes flying to the arena floor and starts cursing on air. The booking called for Austin to job here, but Austin refused because he felt it would hurt his character so this is the result of that. This was a nice segment because even though Austin refused to wrestle it acknowledged that Austin needed to go onto better things and it started the Austin-McMahon angle.
The Final Report Card: I feel bad for anyone that bought a ticket to this RAW and hope that there was a good selection of dark matches because there was not a lot of wrestling to be seen. There was only one match on the show that went over three minutes, although the show did start or continue a variety of angles for the Royal Rumble. My copy misses a DOA-Los Boricuas match, but I remember that being really bad. Austin’s stuff was great, as usual, but the show got really boring really fast without another competitive match to break up the promo work.
Monday Night War Rating: 3.0 (vs. 4.3 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation: Thumbs Down