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What the World Was Watching: Monday Night Raw - August 17, 1998

by Logan Scisco

-Steve Austin unsuccessful in getting into Vince McMahon’s office in the locker room area.

-Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler are doing commentary and they are taped from Des Moines, Iowa.

-A hearse backs up into the arena to the “Highway to Hell” song, but Steve Austin comes out the driver’s side door, pulls out a casket, and then opens the casket to grab a beer.  Austin walks to the ring and calls Vince McMahon out.  After some delay, McMahon arrives with his stooges.  Austin pledges to beat the Undertaker in the ring tonight and stuff him in the hearse he brought to the arena.  He warns McMahon to get out of his way because otherwise, he is going to end up in the hearse himself.  A simple segment that gave some motivation for Austin’s actions later in the show.  1 for 1

-Get a big poster of Triple H when you buy Stridex pads!

-Opening Triple Threat Contest:  Dan Severn defeats Ken Shamrock and Owen Hart when he makes Shamrock submit to a dragon sleeper at 4:43:

This was the first time that Shamrock and Severn opposed each other in a WWF ring, but they do not mix it up, as Severn just watches Shamrock fight Owen during the match.  After three and a half minutes, Severn finally gets involved by breaking up a Shamrock pin attempt and then putting him in a dragon sleeper to break up the ankle lock.  It’s about time someone used that strategy in a triple threat match.  Rating:  **½ (2 for 2)

-After the bell, Severn refuses to release the hold until Steve Blackman comes out and Severn proceeds to put Blackman in a dragon sleeper.  As Severn leaves the ring, he gives Owen a high five, thereby turning heel.  When Shamrock comes to, he gets in Commissioner Slaughter’s face about what just took place.

-Brawl for All Semi-Finals:  Bart Gunn defeats The Godfather (w/Hos) via knockout at 20 seconds of the third round:

“Bill Clinton” calls into the show and makes some Monica Lewinsky jokes.  The Godfather refuses to let Bart Gunn choose the ho option since Bart attacked him on last week’s show.  The Godfather lands a few hard jabs, but Bart lands some hard shots at the end of the second round and proceeds to knock him out with a right hand in the third.  Bart gloats to Ross about his victory after the bout.  3 for 3

-Ken Shamrock and Steve Blackman are shown tossing things around the locker room as they search for Owen Hart and Dan Severn.

-Michael Cole says that Owen Hart’s special trainer for the Lion’s Den match at SummerSlam will be Dan Severn.

-Gangrel beats “Too Sexy” Brian Christopher (w/Scott Taylor) with an Implant DDT at 1:03:

This was Gangrel’s RAW debut.  It’s a shame that the character never went anywhere because it had one of the best entrances in wrestling history.  Edge takes an interest in Gangrel’s entrance, raising his sunglasses to get a better view from the crowd.  Gangrel makes short work of Christopher in what is a somewhat sloppy squash.

-Ken Shamrock tells Cole that he is going to break every bone in Owen Hart’s body at SummerSlam.  Cole runs away as Shamrock and Steve Blackman continue to break things.  Blackman breaks things in the most unemotional way possible, which cracks me up.

-D-Generation X and the Nation of Domination, who are scheduled to face off in a street fight later tonight, are shown brawling backstage as WWF officials desperately try to break things up.

-The Disciples of Apocalypse (w/Paul Ellering) beat Scorpio & Faarooq when Skull pins Scorpio with a small package after an illegal switch at 4:31:

“President Clinton” calls back in and gloats about the state of the economy.  Scorpio and Faarooq were undefeated up to this point, but the greatness that is DOA must be continued at all costs and they lose here.  In fairness, the loss happens in cheap fashion, as the DX-Nation brawl descends on the ringside area and distracts the referee, who misses Scorpio pinning 8-Ball after a 450.  Scorpio made this match better than one might expect, but the wrong team went over.  Rating:  **¼ (3 for 4)

-Call 815-734-1161 to get your Steve Austin Bad to the Bone t-shirt for $25 (plus $6 shipping & handling)!

-Street Fight:  The Nation of Domination wrestle D-Generation X to a no contest at 6:24:

For this match, the combatants are allowed to bring whatever weapons they like to the ring, but no one is ingenious enough to bring the kitchen sink.  This is actually four-on-three, since the Godfather getting knocked out earlier in the show precluded him from participating.  There’s tons of head trauma in this from the weapons shots, and it is somewhat unsettling to hear Jim Ross casually remark on the possibility of concussions.  Near the end of the bout, Jeff Jarrett and Southern Justice attack X-Pac and Jarrett cuts off some of X-Pac’s hair.  Jarrett and Southern Justice allow the Nation to isolate Triple H, who beat him down with a ladder, thereby planting the seeds for the type of match that will take place between the Rock and Triple H at SummerSlam.  In a puzzling development, the Nation choose to just walk out after this beatdown instead of pinning Triple H, so that gives us a no contest.  Then again, the carnage lets us know who the real winners were.  This was a fun brawl that advanced two storylines for SummerSlam  Rating:  *** (4 for 5)

-Tiger Ali Singh gives $500 to a fan for licking between his servant Babu’s toes.  You see, Babu has been working out all day and is nasty.  The less said about this segment the better.  4 for 6

-Sable interfering in the Luna Vachon-Jacqueline match on last week’s show is the Stridex Triple Action segment.

-Arm Wrestling Match:  Sable beats Jacqueline by disqualification:

This stemmed from a challenge that Jacqueline issued on Sunday Night Heat.  There are few gimmick matches in wrestling that I hate more than arm wrestling contests.  This is no exception as Jacqueline pulls her hand away when Sable is going to win and turns the table over on her.  Jacqueline then breaks the bikini contest trophy over Sable’s back before the Oddities make the save.  So, we’ve had disqualifications in a bikini contest AND an arm wrestling match between these two!  4 for 7

-Cole interviews Val Venis, who is facing Kaientai in a gauntlet match tonight.  Venis says he is conditioned to “run all night long.”

-Darren Drozdov shows us his tattoos on the latest installment of “Droz’s World.”  I’m not sure what the purpose of these segments happens to be since they aren’t giving Droz a sustained push at the moment.

-Brawl for All Semi-Finals:  Bradshaw defeats Darren Drozdov via decision:

Droz’s “tale of the tape” emphasizes his ability to puke on command.  I wonder if that would be against the rules of the Brawl for All.  This is a good slugfest and Bradshaw blocks several of Droz’s takedown attempts.  Bradshaw lands more punches and advances to the finals next week against Bart Gunn.  5 for 8

-The announcers tell us that Al Snow is back in the WWF.  No reason is given as to why that King of the Ring stipulation was not upheld, but there you have it.  Al Snow talks with Head at a bar and mocks how he is returning to the WWF to be part of the “JOB Squad.”

-Dustin Runnels reminds us that our bodies are a temple.

-Sable comes out and demands Jacqueline to come out and fight.  Jacqueline and Marc Mero appear on the Titantron and Jacqueline responds by challenging Sable to a mixed tag match at SummerSlam.  Before Sable can issue a response, the Oddities burst into Mero and Jacqueline’s locker room and attack them.  Won’t heels ever learn that allowing your opponent to choose a mystery partner never turns out well?

-Cole reminds us of Steve Austin’s promise earlier in the show.

-Gauntlet Match:  Kaientai (w/Yamaguchi-San) beats Val Venis when Taka Michinoku pins Venis after a Michinoku Driver at 7:55:

Order of Elimination:  Venis pins Men’s Teioh with a fisherman’s suplex at 1:12; Venis pins Funaki with a powerslam at 1:26; Venis pins Dick Togo with the Money Shot at 4:20

The stipulation for this match is that if Venis wins that he gets five minutes with Yamaguchi-San.  “President Clinton” calls in for the last time to make more jokes about Ms. Lewinsky.  This has some good work rate, especially the Togo and Michinoku portions, but the crowd does not care because they have been conditioned to see Kaientai as a joke.  Venis runs through three of Kaintenai’s members, but Michinoku beats him clean.  Rating:  *** (6 for 9)

-After the bout, Kaientai pound away on Venis and then Mrs. Yamaguchi-San comes out to slap him.  However, Venis grabs a squirt gun shaped like a penis and squirts it all over his adversaries, causing them to flee.  I could have done without all of that.

-The Undertaker and Steve Austin come out for their confrontation, but when the Undertaker throws his hair back we find out that it is actually Kane.  Kane and Austin brawl back to the hearse, where Austin tosses Kane into the back.  However, when Austin goes to drive away, he cannot get in and the Undertaker is shown in the driver’s seat.  The Undertaker drives away as “Highway to Hell” is played over the loudspeakers.  This was a great ending for the show and I always mark out a little when I see that the Undertaker is in the front seat.  7 for 10

The Final Report Card:  The rating of the show seemed to be hurt by the lack of Austin segments, but I was okay with not having the main event angle dominate the show.  We have had our fair share of the Undertaker, Kane, Mankind, and Austin in recent months so it was good to get a break from all of it.  Despite the rating, this show had two good Brawl for All matches and gave the audience an entertaining street fight and gauntlet match.  You cannot ask for much more than that during this era.

Monday Night War Rating:  4.2 (vs. 4.9 for Nitro)

Show Evaluation:  Thumbs Up


  1. Wow, this show was the definition of "Russo overload". Like nearly every segment.

  2. He was never a good writer.

  3. The end of the 2nd round of Bart/Godfather looked very fixed. Bart just unloaded with 6 round house punches in a row, that all looked incredibly easy to block or dodge. I guess the "work" was in after the Dr Death KO.

  4. Didn't schivone on nitro scream all night that we deliver are advertised wrestling matches and Ross on raw about an hour later kept saying this is not a match but a confrontation?.. I just remember nitro having Goldberg vs meng in the main event and their segment was actually shorter than this segment.. Lol

  5. This was a weird time similar to Raw's winning streak in April 1996, as Nitro somehow got several consecutive victories over Raw but this was basically the last time they ever had an edge over WWF.

  6. Not a Russo by any stretch but how is it when it's a good segment Vince had a hand in it but when it's a shit segment it's all Russo?

  7. So if I hit 1 out of 100 balls in baseball, I'd be considered a good hitter? Just because he pitched some good ideas doesn't make up for million of terrible ones.

  8. Buttwrbeans still destroyed Bart Gunn to Japan 4 life.

  9. Russo batted 1 out of 100? OK...

  10. It hasn't quite been confirmed that happened, but yeah, the matches appeared fixed in some ways after the quarters. The final round looked REALLY suspicious, which replays made clear.

  11. In his career, easily.

  12. In WCW, in TNA: yes. In WWF: no.

  13. Won’t heels ever learn that allowing your opponent to choose a mystery partner never turns out well?
    I wish WWE would use the White Men Can't Jump gimmick. "I'll take on you two and ya'll can pick my teammate." "Give the chump man, give him the chump!"

  14. Zach ryder: Who me?

  15. He started off about 10 for 12.... then went on a 0 for 988 slump.

  16. Judy Bagwell on a pole match is like hitting 7 grand slams at the same time, but u catch your drift.

  17. To me Nitro was competitive right up until the finger poke, then it was never a question of which wrestling show to watch.

  18. To me, WCW's "competitiveness" died in the summer of '98. Two nWo factions, Jay Leno, the burial of Bret Hart....I just hated it. But that's just me. As for everyone else, I agree with you that after the fingerpoke, you'd have to be crazy to keep watching that crap.

  19. I keep forgetting that Nitro was competitive around this time - what else did they have on their show this week?


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