by Logan Scisco
-A still image of Bobo Brazil, who recently passed away, is shown.
-Michael Cole narrates a video package that recaps Mike Tyson’s altercation with Steve Austin on last week’s show. Cole says that Tyson does not want to be a guest referee at WrestleMania XIV and wants to face Austin instead. Shawn Michaels also promises to give his view on the Austin-Tyson interaction tonight.
-Jim Ross, Cole, and Kevin Kelly are in the booth and they are in Davis, California.
-Opening Contest: Ken Shamrock (w/Ahmed Johnson & The Disciples of Apocalypse) beats Mark Henry (w/The Nation of Domination) by disqualification when the Nation interferes at 3:18:
This is a preview for the “war of attrition” ten man tag team match that will happen at No Way Out. Henry runs through a series of power moves, but Shamrock uses his UFC leg strikes to destabilize Henry and gets a huge pop for delivering a belly-to-belly suplex. That brings in the Nation and the predictable ten man brawl and Shamrock’s team stands tall after that. Good opener that got the crowd into the show. Rating: ** (1 for 1)
-A VERY long video package recaps the Undertaker-Kane feud. After that finishes, exclusive video footage shows WWF officials breaking open the casket at the Royal Rumble, but the Undertaker is gone.
-Shawn Michaels imitating the Undertaker last week is the Western Union Rewind segment.
-Barry Windham, without the Blackjack mustache, says that he got tired of the cartoonish nature of the WWF and he wants to get back to real wrestling as part of the NWA. Jeff Jarrett gloats about being a champion and a well versed wrestler.
-Jeff Jarrett & Barry Windham (w/Jim Cornette & The Rock N’ Roll Express) defeat The Legion of Doom when Windham pins Animal after hitting him with Cornette’s tennis racket at 5:01:
Not that the NWA faction had much of a chance at succeeding, but since the Legion of Doom had a history with the NWA the WWF should have turned them heel and made them part of it. It would have worked better than the Rock N’ Roll Express and would have freshened up the Legion of Doom’s act better than the “LOD 2000” gimmick. Jarrett and Windham work really well as a team and since they control nearly all of the offense this match comes off quite well. The finish is sloppy, though and ruins the match, as Windham hits Animal with Cornette’s tennis racket and Animal appears to kick out at two, but the bell rings and gives the NWA a win. I assume that the Legion of Doom did not want to job here and this mess was meant to somehow protect them. Rating: *¾ (1 for 2)
-Shawn Michaels appearance on Pictionary is shown.
-The announcers recap the Tyson-Austin altercation last week.
-D-Generation X talk to the announce team from the locker room. European Champion Triple H promises to beat Owen Hart tonight because he is more of a man than he is. WWF Champion Shawn Michaels says that he has been carrying the WWF on his shoulders and he thinks that he might just give up his WrestleMania title match so that Steve Austin and Mike Tyson can fight one-on-one. Triple H asks him to reconsider and Michaels says that he can probably do something and as he rants his jacket falls off to expose a referee shirt. He says he’d love to be the guest referee for an Austin-Tyson match. DX was trying to be too cute for their own good here and you just wanted them to get to the point. 1 for 3
-Cactus Jack suplexing Chainsaw Charlie through a pair of chairs at the Royal Rumble is the Footaction Slam of the Week.
-The announce team hypes the house show circuit.
-Vader wrestles The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust (w/Luna Vachon) to a no contest at 2:57:
Goldust and Luna dress up like Vader for this match. Cole hypes Vader as “the Kodiak Bear of the WWF,” but what happened to the Mastodon nickname? Did the WWF lose a lawsuit over that too? Vader is still too much for Goldust to handle, but this match is nowhere near the quality of their Rumble encounter. Vader powerbombs Goldust and hits a Vader Bomb, but the lights go out and Kane walks out. Vader proceeds to give him a reverse Tombstone, but Goldust distracts Vader after that and Kane sits up and gives Vader a Tombstone. This is the first step in setting up a match between the two at No Way Out. The Goldust-Vader match wasn’t much, but the brief Kane-Vader interaction was fun. 2 for 4
-Mick Foley and Terry Funk are shown chatting in the ring before the show. They make fun of and compliment their Chainsaw Charlie and Cactus Jack gimmicks.
-We enter hour two, so its Jerry Lawler’s time to do commentary with Ross.
-Non-Title Match: The New Age Outlaws (WWF Tag Team Champions) defeat Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie by disqualification at 5:04:
For this match, the New Age Outlaws are wearing baseball catchers gear and it works to their advantage, as Cactus Jack’s low blow has no effect on the Road Dogg since he is wearing a cup. When these two teams are brawling, this is an entertaining match, but when they start reverting to the conventional tag team formula it leaves a lot to be desired. As all hell breaks loose, Charlie starts throwing chairs into the ring, but he doesn’t get disqualified, but that happens when Cactus hits Road Dogg with a chair and then uses it to launch an aerial attack on Billy Gunn. A few fun spots in this, but it was mayhem without cohesion. Rating: *½ (2 for 5)
-After the match, Cactus Jack puts the referee in a Mandible Claw and Road Dogg is covered with chairs and Charlie gives him a moonsault.
-A video package hypes Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku.
-The Honky Tonk Man comes out to do guest ring announcing duties.
-Number One Contenders Match for the Light Heavyweight Title: El Pantera beats “Too Sexy” Brian Christopher with a cradle at 4:25:
Someone must have realized that no one was doing anything with the light heavyweight division so they needed to start doing some matches on Raw. The winner of this faces Taka Michinoku at No Way Out. Pantera hits an awesome suicide dive through the corner turnbuckles, but Christopher responds with a sunset flip powerbomb from the apron to the arena floor. There’s lots of piped in crowd noise for this, though. Christopher still wants to stall too much, but its not excessive due to the short time allotted for the match. Christopher’s Tennessee Jam attempt misses and Pantera takes advantage to win the bout. Rating: ** (3 for 6)
-After the match, Lawler goes into the ring to shake Pantera’s hand, but cheap shots him. As if we haven’t had enough of the Lawler-light heavyweight division angle already.
-Call 1-900-737-4WWF to hear what is going on in the WWF locker room!
-Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie are giving an interview with the announcers backstage, but D-Generation X distracts them and the New Age Outlaws launch a sneak attack. The Outlaws and DX pound away until WWF officials intervene.
-The Headbangers beat The Quebecers when Mosh pins Jacques with a sunset flip at 3:07:
The Quebecers get the jobber entrance and we get a rushed match, with the hot tag coming about ninety seconds in. The Quebecers seem to come out on top after that, but Thrasher trips Pierre on the top rope and Mosh surprises Jacques with a sunset flip to win the match. This result isn’t good for the Quebecers future in the division, but they take out their frustration after the match with their fun Boston Crab/flying leg drop maneuver on Mosh. Rating: * (3 for 7)
-Owen Hart defeats “Hunterdust” (w/”Chyna”) via submission with a Sharpshooter at 5:06 shown:
The anticipated match between Owen Hart and Triple H has been building for a month, since Helmsley cost Owen the WWF title after In Your House: D-Generation X. However, instead of Triple H coming out for the match, Goldust comes out dressed as Triple H (with big prosthetic nose included) and Luna Vachon dressed as Chyna. The first half of the match is a snoozer, as Goldust methodically pounds away, but when we return from commercial break Owen cruises to a victory as if he’s in a squash match. Goldust is nothing more than a jobber at this stage of his career. Rating: ¾* (3 for 8)
-After the match, D-Generation X appears on the Titantron and laughs about fooling Owen. Commissioner Sergeant Slaughter comes out and says that since Triple H was contractually obligated to defend the title, Owen is the new European champion in lieu of beating Triple H’s replacement. As a result of this decision, Triple H must face Owen at a later date if he wants to get his European title back.
-The announcers talk about the Tyson-Austin encounter. This is the third time we have talked about it tonight.
-Don King says that Mike Tyson wants Steve Austin, but the Nevada State Commission will not let Tyson fight. He says that he and Vince McMahon will have to find a way to bring both men together at WrestleMania without violating Nevada’s rules.
-Steve Austin comes out and says that Mike Tyson will soon learn not to mess with him. He pledges to fight Tyson anywhere, anytime and asks him to show up at No Way Out. A generic promo for Austin, but it served the purpose of continuing the intrigue about fighting Tyson. (4 for 9)
The Final Report Card: A very lackluster edition of Monday Night Raw, which usually happens when the event is taped. The entire show revolved around Austin-Tyson, which had no real chance of happening anyway because of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Giving Owen Hart the European title via Goldust was also lame, but Triple H had not defended the title in more than a month and was still on the shelf so something had to be done. Just a very uneventful and passable show.
Monday Night War Rating: 3.5 (vs. 4.7 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation: Thumbs Down