-A video package recaps the altercation between Steve Austin and Vince McMahon on the last RAW.
-Jim Ross and Michael Cole are in the booth and they are taped from Syracuse, New York.
-Vince McMahon walks out to some loud, piped in boos and says that Steve Austin learned his lesson from last week and will no longer curse, flip people off, or give off a blue collar vibe. He promises a new, improved Austin tonight or the fans will get their money back. What is making the early part of this feud great is that McMahon is not playing an overt heel. Instead, he is still expecting the fans to like him like they did in the 1980s and 1990s and is continually puzzled why they are reacting negatively toward him.
-A video package hypes Dan Severn. It is funny how the WWF used the UFC to legitimize Ken Shamrock and Severn with the fan base during this period and now views it with disdain.
-Opening Contest: Dan Severn (w/Jim Cornette) beats Flash Funk via submission to an armbar at 2:54:
Severn comes out with four title belts, which is always a great visual for a wrestler and gives them instant credibility with the audience. Severn wrestles this match like a UFC encounter, using a few simple suplexes and using superior position to lock in an armbar and win his first WWF match. (1 for 1)
-D-Generation X destroying Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie on last week’s RAW is the 10-321 Rewind.
-DX comes out and puts themselves over as the best young act in wrestling and tells the fans that if they want to see old men wrestle they should change the channel. Triple H says that his army is complete and he is ready to raise hell in the WWF.
-DX is shown spray painting DX on parts of the backstage RAW set and beating up a random guy.
-Steve Blackman beats “Too Sexy” Brian Christopher via submission to a crucifix armbar at 5:01:
With the light heavyweight division an afterthought, Christopher no longer has to feud with Taka Michinoku so he is enhancement talent until something better comes along. Tennessee Lee walks out during the match to do commentary, but surprisingly does not get involved in the match. This starts pretty slow, but after Lee stops doing commentary the match picks up and Blackman gets a solid clean win to maintain momentum for his feud with Jeff Jarrett. Rating: *¾ (2 for 2)
-After the match, Lee walks back out and filibusters for a great Jarrett entrance, but Jarrett actually sneaks up behind Blackman in the ring and smashes a guitar over his head. Smashing people with guitars would gradually become part of Jarrett’s calling card and this was one of the first uses of the tactic.
-DX is shown relieving themselves on the Disciples of Apocalypse bicycles backstage.
-LOD 2000 giving Jesus a Doomsday Device on last week’s RAW is the Bop It Slam of the Week.
-A video package recaps last week’s cage match main event between the New Age Outlaws and Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie for the vacant WWF tag team titles. It emphasizes that after the match and beatdown the crowd was chanting for Steve Austin.
-Mick Foley walks out with a chair and wearing a neck brace. He says that Terry Funk is not at the show because he is pretty banged up from last week and that after their sacrifices for the fans they just chanted for Steve Austin at the end of last week’s show. He criticizes the fans for giving them Cactus Jack, which they asked for, and spitting on his effort. When the fans do not give him a group apology, he says that wrestling just is not worth it anymore and that the fans will not see Cactus Jack for a long time. Solid promo work from Foley that planted the seeds for Steve Austin’s first in-ring feud as WWF champion. 3 for 3
-A video package recaps the Nation turning on Faarooq on last week’s show. A video from the Nation, which shows them ambushing Faarooq in the parking lot is played.
-Intercontinental Championship Match: Owen Hart beats The Rock (Champion w/The Nation of Domination) by disqualification when Chyna interferes and nails Owen with a baseball bat at 5:46:
There is a small history between these two as Owen beat the Rock to win his first Intercontinental title on a RAW episode the previous year, but this time he is facing heel Rock and not the young upstart Rocky Maivia. One thing that is weird about the commentary of this match is that Cole and Ross debate whether Austin has sold out and Ross says it can’t be possible, while Cole gloats about how powerful McMahon is. Considering that Cole is criticized for pandering McMahon’s lines today it’s a surreal conversation. The Nation are evicted from ringside after they trip Owen running the ropes. Owen manages to put the Rock in the Sharpshooter, but Chyna runs in and the Rock saves his title via disqualification. Once again, D-Generation X gets the better of Owen. Will this poor guy ever catch a break in this feud? Rating: **¼ (4 for 4)
-Jerry “the King” Lawler replaces Cole for hour two.
-Flanked by two police officers, Vince McMahon comes out and unveils the corporate version of Steve Austin, who is wearing a suit, baseball cap, and does not climb to the second rope to salute the fans. The fans are hot when Austin’s music hits, but are lukewarm to the idea of him in a suit. However, Austin is wearing his wrestling boots because the dress shoes McMahon selected were not fully broken in and McMahon takes exception to Austin’s baseball cap, so he takes it off and throws it into the crowd. When Austin gets the mic he cuts a hilarious promo about being left in prison last week without bread and water. He has one of the police officers take a picture of he and McMahon with the title and then tells a happy McMahon that he should get the film framed because that is the last time he will see him wear a silly suit. He rips the entire suit off and tosses it into the crowd, gives McMahon a low blow, and takes a picture of an agonizing McMahon before leaving. These segments just get better and better, assisted by some funny commentary from Ross, who loves Austin, and Lawler, who worries about his old broadcast partner. 5 for 5
-The Disciples of Apocalypse walk out and challenge D-Generation X to a match later this evening.
-Mixed Gender Match: Luna Vachon (w/Goldust) beats Matt Gold with a flying elbow drop in 26 seconds:
Ross informs us that this is the first intergender match in WWF history and I will take his word for it. Of course, those that had the RAW SNES and Genesis video games had already seen Luna wrestle in lots of intergender matches. Goldust beats up Gold before the bell, which makes him a sitting duck for Luna to get an easy victory. I was disappointed Luna didn’t bust out the “Luna Eclipse” elbow drop that she had in that video game.
-A new Val Venis vignette sees him discuss his new film “As Hard as it Gets.”
-Ken Shamrock beats “Marvelous” Marc Mero (w/Sable) by disqualification when the Nation of Domination interfere at 2:40:
Mero says that he let Sable have the spotlight at WrestleMania, but demands that she leave his ring before this match. These two have a decent abbreviated match and Shamrock arms himself with a chair when the Nation runs out. However, the Nation have strength in numbers and Mark Henry splits Shamrock’s wig and D-Lo hits a Lo Down, after which the Rock tells Shamrock that he is facing a new, more powerful Nation. I’ll give the match and beatdown a point because it made everyone look good. (6 for 6)
-Call 815-734-1161 to buy the new Stone Cold University t-shirt for $25 (plus $6 shipping & handling)! I cannot get over how outrageous the shipping charges are for some of these items.
-Kevin Kelly interviews the Undertaker, who accepts the desperate challenge of Paul Bearer and Kane for the inferno match at Unforgiven. Paul Bearer and Kane interrupt the interview from the gravesite of the Undertaker’s parents and Bearer promises that the Undertaker will die a slow, agonizing death at Unforgiven. Kane then takes a sledgehammer to their parents grave and sets the remnants on fire. Nice sell for the match, but I do not see how they are going to top this in the ensuing weeks. 7 for 7
-Triple H & The New Age Outlaws (w/Chyna & Sean Waltman) beat The Disciples of Apocalypse when Triple H pins Chainz with a Pedigree at 6:30 shown:
I am not calling Waltman X-Pac because he is not being referred to that on television yet. Betting on the DOA in this match would be like placing everything you owned against the Harlem Globetrotters. After a below average match, D-Generation X picks up a clean win over a stable who has worn out its welcome. After the bell, DX lays out DOA like they did Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie on last week’s show. However, before DX can completely decimate Chainz, LOD 2000 runs out to make the save for the hot finish. Rating: *½ (8 for 8)
The Final Report Card: Like last week, this RAW rolled along with lots of entertaining segments to advance the necessary angles. The new D-Generation X is starting to make its mark on the company, the new Nation of Domination is doing the same, and some new talent like Dan Severn and Val Venis are being introduced to the audience. This was another solid effort to continue narrowing the gap with WCW.
Our Unforgiven card so far is:
WWF Championship Match: Steve Austin (Champion) vs. ???
WWF Tag Team Championship Match: The New Age Outlaws (Champions) vs. LOD 2000
Inferno Match: The Undertaker vs. Kane
Evening Gown Match: Sable vs. Luna Vachon
Monday Night War Rating: 4.4 (vs. 4.6 for Nitro)
Show Evaluation: Thumbs Up