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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw - February 2, 1998

by Logan Scisco

-D-Generation X gives a special report, with WWF Champion Shawn Michaels and Triple H breaking down what language they will use on different parts of the show.  Michaels parodies President Clinton by saying that he was “up all night” with his intern.

-Jim Ross, Kevin Kelly, and Michael Cole are doing commentary and they are live from Indianapolis, Indiana.

-D-Generation X comes out, with Shawn Michaels and Triple H dressed like Uncle Sam.  Red, white, and blue balloons fall from the rafters and DX is holding signs calling for a match between Steve Austin and Mike Tyson.  They lead the crowd in a “let them fight” chant before Austin comes out.  Austin says he didn’t win the Royal Rumble to fight Tyson, he won it to fight Michaels for the title.  Michaels does not respond on the mic, which is unusual, and Austin carefully walks out of the ring and flips Chyna off.  You could cut the tension between Austin and Michaels with a knife in this segment and that’s the sign of a great build.  1 for 1

-Call 815-734-1161 to get your RAW is War varsity jacket for $199.99 (plus $21 shipping & handling).  Now I remember why I never got one of those…

-Opening “King of Hardcore” Contest:  Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie wrestle to a no contest at 8:16 shown:

Before the match, a clip of Jim Ross talking to Mick Foley and Terry Funk is shown and Foley says that he wants to fight Funk tonight to establish a legacy for himself.  Funk says the winner of this match will be “king of hardcore.”  In Foley’s first book he discussed how he pitched the idea to Vince McMahon about a death match series between he and Funk that would culminate at WrestleMania, but it was not picked up.  You could argue that this is the first “hardcore” match of the Attitude Era, as both men bring weapons to the ring in dumpsters and take turns bashing each other with them.  This is a spectacle for its time with the audience, who has not been desensitized to this degree of violence, so it gets a good reaction.  Charlie takes a nasty looking piledriver when Cactus has a trash can over his head and when both men brawl near the entrance, Cactus backdrops Charlie into a nearby dumpster and proceeds to climb up on the Titantron and delivers a flying elbow drop into the dumpster.  The New Age Outlaws then run out of the back, tie the lid of the dumpster shut, and then push it off the entrance, which draws an 8.0 on the Jim Ross outrage meter.  A good brawl under the time constraints, with an insane finish that took the Cactus Jack/Chainsaw Charlie-New Age Outlaws feud to another level.  Rating:  **½ (2 for 2)

-WWF officials and wrestlers proceed to pour out of the back to help Foley and Funk and Sunny proceeds to curse the Outlaws.  Ross then goes into his “how do you learn to take a fall from that?” shtick.  Vince McMahon confronts the Outlaws by the entrance and they try to argue that they just got caught up in the moment.  The Outlaws end up in a brawl with some of the WWF superstars, like Flash Funk and the Headbangers.  An ambulance eventually comes to get Foley and Funk.

-The Outlaws are interrogated by Jim Ross over their actions and they are confronted by D-Generation X, who tells them that what they did was good for ratings and that they need to man up.

-Kane giving Vader a Tombstone is the Playstation Slam of the Week.

-Jerry Lawler comes out to do commentary with Ross for the second hour.

-European Championship Match:  Owen Hart (Champion) beats “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn (w/The Road Dogg) by disqualification when the Road Dogg interferes at 5:28:

Owen fires away on both of the Outlaws, taking vengeance for what happened to Foley and Funk earlier.  This is a typical television match, with both men running through their usual offense and Gunn controlling most of the match as a heel.  You would think that Gunn would find a way to make his heel offense flow more smoothly, but that’s not the case here.  Gunn does a sunset flip, but Owen rolls through it and applies a Sharpshooter, which triggers the interference and disqualification.  Rating:  ** (3 for 3)

-After the match, D-Generation X wanders out and they overwhelm Owen.  Triple H gives Owen a DDT on the stage and then try to get the Outlaws to toss Owen off the stage.  However, WWF officials intervene before that can occur.  DX tells the Outlaws that they need to keep their edge and do whatever it takes to get over.

-Ross and Lawler talk more about the New Age Outlaws actions on tonight’s show.  Michael Cole calls in from the hospital and says that doctors are working on Mick Foley and Terry Funk.

-“Marvelous” Marc Mero (w/Sable) beats Mosh (w/Thrasher) with a schoolboy at 2:27:

Before wrestling, Mero makes a scantily clad Sable wear his robe, disrobe him, and then he banishes her to the back when someone delivers chocolates to her.  To replace Sable, Mero calls out Marilyn, which is Goldust dressed as Marilyn Manson.  Goldust keeps interfering so Mero can maintain the advantage and when the Headbangers finally figure out how to counter him, Mero gives Mosh a low blow and rolls him up for the win.  This match just existed to keep Mero’s issue with Sable going and put Goldust into it.  3 for 4

-Call 1-900-737-4WWF to find out what WWF superstar was rushed from the Indianapolis airport to a local hospital!

-Barry Windham tells Bradshaw that he is the reason the New Blackjacks failed and that if Bradshaw can find a tag team partner then he can see him in the ring.

-A vignette shows Tiger Ali Singh saying that his goal is to be the best fighter in the world.  It shows him as a rich playboy.  If Singh was as good as he says he is he would have been on the active roster by now.

-Chainz (w/The Disciples of Apocalypse, Ken Shamrock & Ahmed Johnson) beats Faarooq (w/The Nation of Domination) by count out at 3:35:

This is this week’s showcase of the men involved in the “war of attrition” tag team match at No Way Out.  Speaking of which, the announcers have not been clear about what that actually means.  It only takes seventeen seconds for Ross to remind us that Faarooq was an All-American at Florida State.  Michael Cole calls in during the match and says that Terry Funk has regained consciousness at the hospital, but Mick Foley has not.  Ugly brawl, which ends when Faarooq and Kama suffer a miscommunication and the ensuing argument causes Faarooq to get counted out.  After the match, Faarooq orders the rest of the Nation behind him on the entrance and they give the Nation salute to their opponents.  Surprising to see the faces go up 2-0 on the Nation in these matches thus far.  Rating:  ½* (3 for 5)

-Kurrgan using the Paralyzer on jobber Michael Modest on Shotgun Saturday Night is the Western Union Rewind segment.

-Bradshaw & Flash Funk defeat Jeff Jarrett & Barry Windham (w/Jim Cornette & The Rock N’ Roll Express) when Bradshaw pins Jarrett with a lariat at 3:59 shown:

Bradshaw has a mystery partner for this match so that he can get into the ring with Windham, which turns out to be Funk.  The heels utilize a smart strategy, as the Express give Funk a double hot shot on the guardrail and take him out of the match.  Bradshaw manages to fight his own battle effectively, though, and stuns Jarrett with a lariat to win.  After the match, the NWA beats Bradshaw down to get some of their “heat” back.  They are really trying with this feud, but Bradshaw-Windham just isn’t the kind of battle that is going to set the world on fire.  Rating:  *½ (3 for 6)

-Ross and Lawler recap the dumpster attack that took place in the first hour.  Michael Cole calls in again to say that all hell has broken loose at the hospital and police have been called in.  There can be too much of a good angle and this is entering parody territory.

-Ross and Lawler hype the WrestleMania press conference, which will be carried by ESPN News, CNNSI (remember that failed channel?), and TSN.

-Wink Collins announces that WrestleMania XIV tickets sold out in ninety seconds and in case you are wondering why this is happening, Kane comes out.  However, before he can do any damage to poor Wink, Vader comes out and tells Kane that he cannot wait to face him at No Way Out.  Vader blasts a fire extinguisher in Kane’s face and Kane is forced to flee.  So the Big Red Machine has to flee because of a fire extinguisher?  3 for 7

-“Stone Cold” Steve Austin beats The Road Dogg (w/Billy Gunn) by disqualification when Billy Gunn interferes in 26 seconds:

This match barely gets started, as Austin tears apart the Road Dogg and gives Gunn a Stone Cold Stunner when he interferes.  D-Generation X rushes out and a five-on-one beatdown leads to Austin being tied in the ropes and Shawn Michaels taunts him with the WWF title and says that is the closest he is going to get to it.  Foley, bandaged up, and Funk, who is in a hospital gown, rush out to make the save and DX and the Outlaws flee.  I was with this entire segment until Foley and Funk ran out because that just defies all logic.  3 for 8

The Final Report Card:  At the time, the dumpster incident was pretty crazy, but the WWF had no idea what to do with it for the rest of the show.  That segment would have been much better as a main event and then played into the next week because the idea that Mick Foley and Terry Funk are on the brink of death, yet show up to rescue Steve Austin in the main event segment is ridiculous.  Vince Russo must have been pulling ideas from the Bible and the rise of Lazarus for this week’s show.

Monday Night War Rating:  3.5 (vs. 4.9 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Down


  1. Still vividly remember this NAO/Funk and Foley angle. That made the New Age Outlaws in my opinion, as did the rub they got hanging with DX.

  2. Hey wasn't Michael Modest in WCW as well?? (or ECW for that matter?)

  3. I say this in every 98 review you do, but the WM 14 build I'd the pinnacle of my wrestling fandom. Great shit all around. I still remember sitting there when I was you and thinking "those guys can't be really hurt by being in a falling dumpster" but JR sold it to me

  4. Totally agreed, although it's been so long since I've seen this episode, I didn't even remember them coming back from the hospital. Everything prior to that was pitch perfect and wow was JR pissed. It's a shame we can't get announcing that ropes you in like that anymore.

  5. That jacket cost how much!?!

  6. Wasn't he also the guy having a tryout match in "Beyond the Mat"? But yeah I think I do remember him in WCW

  7. I haven't seen this in a while but wasn't this the time when all the Styrofoam came flying out of the dumpster?

    I also liked how all the babyfaces said that's nonsense and went after the Outlaws for it. It's just a simple way to transfer heat that they hardly do anymore.

  8. Yes, styrofoam flew out of the dumpster after Cactus did the elbow.

  9. Nothing is more hilarious than Mero singing "Beautiful People" as Goldust makes his way to the ring.

  10. Yeah, me too- one of the more memorable RAWs in the particular era because of that. It also pretty much linked the NAO to DX, which became important later- by the time they ACTUALLY joined, it was basically a no-brainer that it was gonna happen. It also successfully made both Foley & Funk look like insane bad-asses who couldn't be killed.

  11. Yeah, I remember that specifically because the agent watching the match was basically like "yeah, that guy needs to work on his physique a bit, but Modest is READY", but he never got a push and is just one of those forgotten Indie Guys of the era. He'd probably have been an ROH guy if he'd debuted in the 2000s.

  12. You piqued my interest in this, so I did a little digging. Modest said that the WWF people were full of it. They had seen him wrestle plenty of times and he knew they had no interest in him.

  13. That dumpster angle, along with Steamboat getting pounded in the throat with the ring bell, were the two times I thought I had legitimately watched someone get hurt in wrestling. When they came running out at the end...not impressed. But that still was an awesome show.

    This was my "poor" year- I was making piddling money working in Delaware, living in a really crappy apartment. I got so sick of it I quit the job, quit the apartment, moved back home (to my mom's horror), and took another job. After that, everything got better. But those few months, the only expenses I could afford were basic cable to watch wrestling and hot chocolate runs at Borders (trying to hit on a girl behind the counter while reading comics in the cafe).


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